Little Micah played in the lake with his brother as I stood guard. I noticed he was edging towards water a bit too deep for him, which isn’t too hard when you’re only three.
Suddenly the water was over his nose and he struggled to breath. I was there in about five seconds so no danger was done but my heart swelled as the little one clung to me with his head on my shoulder after I had fished him out.
“Papa, you saved my life,” he said.
Peter must have felt like that when Jesus fished him out of the stormy lake. Remember the story …
Back in the disciple’s boat the rowers sweated. Instead of sleeping, those who waited their turn at the oars, cast a wary eye on the threatening waves, whipped up by the wind and prayed silently. They would feel better when the boat finally arrived at the far shore.
Suddenly James Alphaeus’ son, started. What was that passing by their boat? “Ah, ah, ah! A ghost!” he cried.
Skeptical eyes followed the direction his finger pointed. Oh, no. Not possible! Some of the old fisherman said that before a boat sunk to the bottom of the lake, people sometimes saw a ghost.
Darts of fear raced up and down John’s spine. This time there was no Jesus sleeping in the boat. He had stayed behind to pray. They were doomed. Cries from the boat sounded like a gaggle of little girls who had just seen a snake.
Suddenly the “specter” spoke. “Hey fellas! It’s me. Jesus! Be brave.”
The voice was certainly the Master’s but, walking on the water?
It was Jesus, though. You never knew what to expect with him. Peter was amazed, too, but he then remembered that Jesus had once conferred on them the power to cast out demons and heal sick people just like he did.
Could Peter walk on water, too?
“Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you on the water,” Peter shouted as the other disciples looked at him as if his mother had rocked him too close to the wall when he was a baby.
“Come on, then!”
Peter scrambled over the side of the boat, his feet unexplainably standing on the water as he struggled to get his balance. His gaze was firmly fixed on Jesus’ eyes.
He began to walk, a bit like a new-born colt at first, but then more assuredly. If John had been surprised by Jesus walking on the water, this topped that. Jesus was Jesus and nothing surprised them too much about him.
The former fisherman walked towards the Lord, who waited for him. But, when he was nearly there a huge wave caught his attention and suddenly he became aware of the wind and the DANGER! What was he doing?
His ankles sunk beneath the waves and the water slowly covered his knees, then his thighs, then his chest. Back in the boat James looked on with concern. “Peter is so spontaneous. I knew the Lord shouldn’t have let him get out of the boat.
Suddenly Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!”
“And just like that his hand was there, taking mine and pulling me out of the water, back on top of it again,” Peter explained to John later when the two of them talked about the experience.
“Can you imagine?” Peter asked. “He asked me why I was afraid, where was my faith. Called me a man of little faith?” Peter smiled. “What about us?” John said. “We didn’t even get out of the boat. We thought you had taken leave of your senses …”
Yeah, Peter must have felt a lot like Micah when Jesus helped him but he learned some lessons and he taught us all some lessons, too:
Faith gets out of the boat;
faith keeps its eyes on Jesus;
faith cries to Jesus when it gets scared and starts to sink ;
faith gets to walk back to the boat with Jesus.
The squealers back in the boat only get to watch.
“You can judge the quality of a person by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.”