Jacqui Stoner
June 25, 2024
Image of ship in the storm

A great distance from land, the boat appears as a mere speck in the horizon. The wind whips the waves higher and higher. Accounts in Matthew 24 and Mark 4 describe the terror of the disciples in the midst of two different storms.  In the Gospel of Matthew, they see in the distance a figure. Is that actually a person walking across the water? The men cry out in fear. Then they hear the voice. It belongs to the One they love: Jesus. “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Amidst the surf, Jesus calls across to Peter, “Come!” Slowly Peter raises one foot over the side of the boat. Suddenly he finds himself actually standing on water. Despite being soaking wet, Peter makes his way toward the Savior.

Then comes that monster wave. It almost knocks Peter over. Startled, Peter wonders what in the world he is doing, attempting to walk across the Sea of Galilee. Fear fills his soul. Peter stops looking at Jesus and takes in the reality of his circumstances. Doubts flood his heart. The seas grab his attention. Peter begins to sink. Before he totally goes under, in terror he screams, “Lord save me!” Jesus reaches out and pulls Peter up from the waters.

Sadly, shaking His head, Jesus cries, “Oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt?” From Peter’s very first step, Jesus knew what a difficult test this would be. It pushed self-confident Peter beyond all his human abilities.

God does His best work when we come to the same realization as Peter: we cannot save ourselves. Notice the progression. Peter had to make that first step of faith out of the boat before his faith, or lack thereof, could be revealed.

Life can be uncertain, scary and confusing. Drowning in the heaviness of circumstances, we have the choice to reach out and cry, “Lord, save me!” Not until we invite the Savior does Jesus enter and make our twisted ways straight. Jesus does not tell us to hide away from the storms in the bottom of a boat. He tells us to get out of the boat and walk toward Him, regardless of our crisis. Only after that initial step does our Savior then whisper, “Peace be still.”

Click for further info on what Jesus means by “Peace be still”

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