Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14:28
We are surprisingly fearful people. We live in the safest time and the safest place in the history of the world, and yet many of us are drowning in dread. We suffer from financial phobias, social stresses, and threats of terror. We fear being lost in an abyss where we are on our own with no one to protect us or reach down to pull us out of the pit.
On a dark and windswept night, as the waves smacked their boat, jarring loose the nailed planks of their hull, the disciples felt as though they had been left to face the terror of a sea storm on their own. Even the sight of Jesus filled them with fear—they assumed him to be a ghost! In fact, Peter tested the apparition, saying essentially, “If it is You, Lord, You’re going to have to prove it to me.” So often when we are filled with terror we see ghosts and demons and specters of darkness where there are none! In the end, the miracle of this story was not that Jesus walked on water or even that Peter treaded on the stormy seas for a few brief moments—the true miracle was that Jesus was with the disciples in the storm. The disciples didn’t need to walk toward Jesus, because Jesus had already made his way toward them. Not only is Jesus with us in the storm, but he is also able to reach out and catch us when we begin to drown in fear.
When do you feel alone?
Lord, the chaos and uncertainty of life swirl about me and the fear of it all can make me feel like I am drowning. What is worse, I feel like I might be drowning alone, with no one to hear my cries. Help me to trust that You are with me—in the boat, in the water, in the wind, and even at the bottom of the sea. You are everywhere, and therefore there is nowhere I can sink apart from Your sight and Your presence. Thank You for that. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.