Peter’s muscles screamed at him. With the other disciples he had been rowing for what seemed like hours.
Jesus had sent them away after a long and tiring day surrounded by thousands of people. The problem was, being in the boat was hardly turning into a rest. No sooner had they left the safety of the land, the wind had turned against them. The sail had become useless, so out had come the oars.
For the first half-hour Peter enjoyed the pleasant feel of the blood pumping to his arms, but now it was no joke.
The other disciples who had been rowdy with conversation at the start, were now silent. Weariness mixed with the battering of the waves and wind had subdued their earlier excitement.
Peter could feel the blisters forming on his already calloused hands. The spray from the sea mixed with his sweat, stinging the open wounds. ‘This is not a good night to be out on the sea,’ Peter thought, ‘What was Jesus thinking?’
Suddenly the silence of the boat was pierced by scream. As the adrenaline coursed through his veins, Peter tried to make sense of what was happening.
“It’s a ghost!” The panic stricken words came from Thomas.
‘He never believes anything’ Peter thought, ‘but now he believes in ghosts?’
From up by the bow, one of the men was pointing out into the gloom of the storm. Peter tried to make his tired eyes focus, but what he saw did not make sense. He strained to see through the wind whipped spray and waves. Suddenly he caught a glimpse of something, or rather someone who didn’t belong there. A figure was walking between the waves.
A deep chill shook through the core of Peters being. Fear assaulted his mind. ‘Maybe for once, Thomas is right!’
Almost immediately the figure spoke. “Have courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
“That sounded like Jesus,” one of the disciples said.
“It cant be!” replied another. “He doesn’t walk on water, but ghosts do! It could devour us all!”
“How can we tell without dying?” asked a third.
Peter, listening to their spiralling conversation, suddenly felt a new boldness surge from his spirit. “I could tell you.”
“I could tell you, if it’s Jesus.”
“I have a plan.”
Peter stood up, focused his eyes once more on the figure through the gloom, and shouted for all he was worth “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
“That’s the stupidest plan I have ever heard”, mumbled Andrew.
“Not one of his best,”quipped John.
”From across the water came a strong reply “Come.”
“It’s Jesus, I felt His word give me life,” Peter proclaimed. With that, Peter launched himself over the side of the boat.
John rolled his eyes, as the disciples waited for the inevitable splash, but it never came. They peered over the rail into the darkness, then out from the shadow of the vessel came Peter, walking on the water.
“For someone so irritating, he never ceases to amaze me,” said John as he watched Peter marching off into the night.
All of us at one time or another face opportunities for the miraculous which have no basis in our experience.
How did Peter know it was Jesus out on the water? Through His call. He invited Jesus to call him out into a miracle encounter. When Jesus replied, Peter experienced the grace for the impossible which always accompanies God’s command. In that moment, his heart was impacted in a way that only the voice of God can do. He knew, that he knew, it was Jesus, and he threw himself into embracing the command, in the only way Peter knew how. He leapt into it.
In whatever opportunities you are facing, I pray that you too will hear Jesus command to step out of the boat and into the miraculous. No word of God to you is impossible.
(Based on Matthew 14:22-29)
I love to hear your testimonies of encountering the miraculous with God. You can share by leaving a comment below.
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