I like reading the Gospels because I’m encouraged by reading about the men that Jesus chose to be His disciples. They didn't seem to be good candidates for the job Jesus had for them to do. They were normal guys. They weren't theologians or brilliant or compelling public speakers; they were people like you and me, ordinary people who God would use to do extraordinary things. One of the guys who really stands out in this group was Peter. A fisherman by trade, Peter had a robust personality and sometimes would come out with comments that revealed his limited understanding...I can identify with that! Today, let's listen to an account in Peter’s life that took place early one morning, something Peter would never forget:
Between three and six o'clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It's a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear. Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don't be afraid!” Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.” “Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried. At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-31)
Don't you just love this account? A few verses earlier, we read that Jesus told those guys to get into the boat. As we enter today's passage, Jesus comes to them out on the lake, walking on top of the water. Do you think they were glad to see Him? Nope! The New International Version of the Bible says, "When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It's a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear." When Jesus spoke to them to calm down, Peter made this interesting request: “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water with you.” I like Jesus' response: "Come!” Peter, to his credit, got out of the boat and started walking. While this account is often used to show Peter's lack of faith, I think there’s more to be learned by Peter’s actions. For those few moments, Peter experienced the supernatural. For the rest of his life, he could look back and remember what happened that morning. Looking back in my own life, I can see times when God came through for me in supernatural ways; maybe you can, too. Those experiences can help us to find hope in seemingly hopeless situations. They can help us to see that God is bigger and more powerful than we ever could have imagined. I encourage you to look back and consider ways in which God has lovingly worked supernaturally in your own life.
Today, ponder those times and then let those memories nurture your faith. God in not a religious system or leader. He's infinitely bigger and stronger and more loving and more glorious—He’s the Eternal High Potentate of the Universe and is able to do things you could never imagine, including suspending the laws of physics. He's God...and that's such very Good News!