In Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus sent his disciples out onto the Sea of Galilee while he stayed behind because he’d had a long day. A big crowd had been following him, and now he just wanted to be alone with his Father. He said to his disciples, “I got an idea. You guys go ahead, I’ll catch up with you later.” They agreed, so Jesus went up on the mountain to pray in a quiet solitary place. When evening came, the disciples were out in the middle of the lake and a storm came up.
It was no small storm. The wind howled. Whitecaps crested the waves. The boat was tossed about. It was one of those storms where they weren’t certain they were going to make it to safety again. That’s when Jesus decided to walk out to his disciples on the water. The storm had raged for hours, and it was far into the night by then, shortly before dawn. Jesus walked right on top of the waves. Verses 26-27 give us more of the story: “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'”
Peter, all big and bold, said, “Lord, if it’s you… tell me to come to you on the water” (v.28).
Jesus said, “Come” (v.29).
Can you imagine that? The visibility wasn’t great. The waves and water and darkness were raging all around. But Peter looked toward the voice and stepped out onto the water. He started walking toward Jesus. Verse 30 says, “But when [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”
Notice how Peter “saw” the wind. I have friends who sail, and they describe how the gusts of a wind storm will actually create dark corduroy-like ripples on top of the waves. You can see and hear and feel a gust of wind as it moves down the lake. A storm is a multisensory experience, similar to how the giant of fear can attack us. We feel fear in the pit of our stomach, in the clamminess of our hands. We hear fear in the negative self-talk we use. We see fear as a situation plays out either in our minds or in front of our eyes. What Peter experienced through all of those senses contributed to him being immobilized by fear. Look at verses 30-31. He began to sink and “cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'”
The answer is obvious. Hello? The swells were fourteen feet tall. The gusts of wind were pummeling Peter. Sheets of water flew over him. And then there was the whole walking-on-water thing. Peter realized for a second he didn’t normally do that. I’m sure the picture of him drowning flashed through his mind.
But there is good news. As soon as Peter said, “Lord, save me,” immediately Jesus grabbed him. There was no hesitation. No delay. It says “immediately.” Jesus was closer to Peter than he thought.
The storm didn’t stop immediately – that happened after Peter and Jesus reached the boat. No, the storm was still raging when Jesus caught Peter. On the way to the boat, I think Jesus probably said Peter – just like Jesus says to us, “It’s okay. I’ve got you – even in the midst of this storm. You have nothing to fear.”
Watch Louie Giglio this Tuesday and Thursday on LIFE TODAY. Taken from from Goliath Must Fallby Louie Giglio. Copyright ©2017 by Louie Giglio. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com