Walking the Waves Toward Jesus

Matthew 14:22-33

PETER is the only mere human who ever walked on water. Probably he did not go very far, but he went farther than anyone else ever has gone.

It is a stormy night, and the disciples in the boat are “tossed with waves, for the wind was contrary.” Verily, we are in tempestuous times nowadays: the waves are boisterous, the wind against us. But Jesus is still walking the sea. Do not despair, however buffeted; in the fourth watch of your night He will come toward you.

The disciples are terrified when they see Jesus; they say, “It is a spirit!” They cry out with fear. How the old Book shows up the humanness of believers! It is a “spook”! Sometimes we do not know the Lord when He does come to our rescue.

Then comes the blessed reassurance: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” No matter how dark the night, how nearly upset your frail bark, cheer up, the Lord is on the sea!

Peter speaks up: “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.” He is throwing a challenge to the Lord. Yet I rather like his daring proposition. He is impetuous, venturesome, and it often gets him into trouble, but there is nothing dull and commonplace about Simon Peter. He does not say, “Lord, if it be Thou, come to our aid,” but, “Let me come to Thee.” He wants God to give him something to do, and God likes to give such men a dare. So Jesus says, “Come.”

Peter walks some distance at least, but his characteristic weakness shows up. “When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid.” He got his mind on circumstances—and when a believer looks away from Christ to circumstance, sink he must. He must cry for help—and the Lord rescues him, saying, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Are you alarmed in your boat and afraid to walk toward Jesus? You put first this foot, then that, into the water. “Yes, I know I should walk by faith and not by sight, but it looks so dangerous. I shall not hold out; are you sure He will keep me?”

What if you do have a sinking spell! Suppose you do weaken out there and think of the wind! Jesus is looking at you! Better to walk by faith a little way and have to cry “Lord, save me” than to live the smug, safe life of those who never step out on His promises! If you wait until you are sure that you never will sink, you will never walk by faith. But you can be sure of this: If you walk toward Him and call to Him when your faith grows small, you may sink but you will not drown! If only we faltering souls could see that and live by it, how we might tread triumphantly every stormy sea! He does not guarantee you that your faith will not falter, that you will not forget and begin to sink. But He has promised to lose no life committed to Him.

You are going through this world but once. Have you been up to now a poor, terrified doubter in a battered boat? Walk the waves toward Jesus! Friends may discourage you, the skeptical may laugh, smug and safe souls may rate you a crank, but resolve for yourself: “Live or die, sink or swim, I will take God at His word and Jesus at His challenge. I had rather sink a thousand times and have Him pull me up again than never to have stepped out on His promise.”

As with Peter here, there will always be for those who dare a happy ending. Like him, you will walk with the Lord on the waves; the wind will cease; and you and those in the ship—believers who would not dare—will be constrained to cry, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God!”

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