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One of my favorite accounts* from the New Testament is found in Matthew 14.

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22–33, ESV

One thing that always stands out to me from this text is the fact that it was Peter’s idea to step out of the boat and walk on the water!

Peter approached Jesus with this crazy idea, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Wow! Talk about a dreamer! Getting out of the boat and walking to Jesus was Peter’s idea. It was not Jesus’ idea.

Jesus gave him the go-ahead, so Peter stepped out of the boat and he was literally walking on water. Double wow! Can you imagine?! (For the record, I have tried this every time that I visit the Sea of Galilee. I currently have a 0% success rate.)

While Peter was walking towards Jesus, he looked around and realized that there was a crazy storm raging all around him. Focusing on the storm caused him to take his eyes off of Jesus. Once his eyes were no longer fixed on Jesus, he began to sink.

This is where it gets interesting… Peter cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me.” 

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand to save Peter. Immediately. 

The moment that Peter cried out to Jesus, he was rescued. This is important. But I want you try to imagine this moment in your mind. What does that moment look like? Is it peaceful? Is the world still? Is all of the danger gone? If so, you have the wrong picture in mind.

The truth is that Jesus reached out and saved Peter from drowning immediately after Peter cried out to him, yet the circumstances remained exactly as they were the moment before he began to sink. The wind was still whirling. The water was still raging. The fear was still looming. But Peter was safe in the hands of Jesus.

It wasn’t until they got back into the boat that the wind ceased.

Why does it matter? It matters because, like Peter, we can experience God’s saving power in our lives in the midst of the terrible circumstances. While His saving happens immediately, the moment that we cry out to Him, the circumstances surrounding us often remain the same. Yes, the wind will likely be calmed in time, but often not right away.

If you, like Peter, have found yourself in the middle of a raging storm, you can cry out to Jesus for help and He will immediately reach out His hand to save you. He may not change the circumstances surrounding you right away, but you can be sure that He is walking with you through them. He is leading you back to the boat. Often, it is only after you arrive where He is leading you that the raging winds will calm, and you will experience the peace that your heart is longing for.

Make no mistake about it. He will save those who cry out to Him. He will lead them to everlasting peace. Often, however, the timeline looks different than we had imagined.

This photo of Eden from our jaunt at Wooster Memorial Park reminds me of Peter’s faith in Matthew 14.

She wasn’t exactly walking on the water, but walking in the water towards Jesus is probably about as close as we’ll ever get.

*I use the word account instead of the word story because the circumstances written about in the Bible actually happened. They are NOT fictitious stories, legends, or fables. They are actual accounts of things that really happened.

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