In the Thick of It

One of the great benefits of the Christ life is knowing and experiencing the Presence of God in the life of the believer. Too often, I believe we quench the power of the Spirit within and go on through life, the daily-ness of it, with out experiencing it with God. How strange that we don't acknowledge the One who has promised to "never leave us, nor forsake us" (Hebrews 13:5).

It is during the storms of life that we want to know that we know that Christ is near us. We want to feel and experience His power in our lives. I think that was the case for Peter when he was in the thick of a storm and got a glimpse of Jesus in the midst of it.
 22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
 27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
 28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
 29"Come," he said.
   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
 Matthew 14:25-32
In the midst of a storm, the disciples found themselves out on the lake in their boat taking on the onslaught of wind and waves. Then they saw a ghost out on the water. At least, that was their first thought. Their fears were abated when Jesus identified Himself---- although he didn't immediately stop the storm.

What I think is so interesting about this story is that Peter wanted to be in the thick of the storm with Jesus. He wanted in on the action-----but then He didn't. He wanted Jesus to call out to Him and so Jesus told him to "Come." Peter jumped out onto the water walking toward Jesus then his senses kicked in. He recognized the wind and the waves around Him and fear stepped into what had been his faith-driven adventure with Christ.

I think so often in my life I can be like Peter. I want to be out their doing kingdom things, out there with Jesus, in on His action, but then I look around at the huge waves of uncertainty all around me, and I start to sink, I pull back from what I stepped out of the boat to do. My circumstances create doubt and fear. I choose to focus on those emotions and I let them trump my faith.

It is interesting to me that Peter really was willing to put his life on the line and Jesus was happy give him an opportunity to live a miracle by calling him on out onto the water but Peter pulled back in his heart.  Fortunately for Peter when he started sinking there was the Hand that brought him back up out of those rolling waves. His salvation from the storm did not come, however, without a probing question: "You of little faith,... why did you doubt?"

We don't get Peter's answer. Was he thinking, because I am human!!!  I know the weak faith he expressed in that storm because I have experienced it myself. Like Peter, I am human and I live in the flesh. Is that why I sometimes hold back when I really want to get in on the action of the Spirit-filled life?  I am thankful that Peter took those steps, that Jesus raised him up, and in the end Jesus was worshipped.  I thank God for that encouragement in His Word and I pray for greater faith--a faith willing to get into the thick of it with Jesus. A faith that keeps me from sinking when I step into a storm.


Popular Posts