Let me ask you a question. If God was standing in front of you right this moment and you could ask Him to do ANYTHING for you and you knew He would grant it RIGHT NOW, what would it be?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Because we could want several things, but what is the most pressing? The thing that is hurting your heart the most?
Now that you’ve got it in your mind what you would ask God for, let me tell you a story.
I see myself in Peter. Jesus had just performed one of the greatest miracles – the feeding of the 5,000. Peter witnessed this first hand. Now, Jesus had sent Peter and the disciples into a storm and told them they would reach the other side. A storm comes up in the fourth watch of the night. They see Jesus walking, but don’t know it’s Jesus. The wind is blowing too much, the boat’s rocking, it’s the darkest time of night. They become fearful. But then Jesus speaks, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter is not too sure though.
I’ve witnessed what God can do. I have God’s promise that I’m going to make it. But now I’m in a rocking boat, being tossed around out in the middle of the sea, and it’s the darkest it’s ever been. I can sense the presence. I know it’s there. But I can’t SEE who it is. Then, Jesus speaks. And He tells me it’s Him! He tells me not to fear, to cheer up! “It’s Me, Faith! I’m here.”
Still, I doubt.
But here is where I stop understanding Peter. Because if I’m going to believe that God is standing right in front of me during this storm, I’m going to, unhesitatingly and with much fervor, beg Him to calm the storm! Right?
Peter doesn’t do that. He asks Him if he can walk on water out to the Lord.
What?! Peter, hello!! Why don’t you ask Him to calm the storm and then He can come into the boat and you can be with Him? Or at least ask Him to calm the storm before you try to walk to Him!
For some reason, Peter asks for a miracle during the storm, instead of asking for the storm to cease.
We criticize him a lot don’t we? Because Peter swings back and forth between trust and doubt. He goes from focus to fear. Faith to failure. We see the fear and failure but we overlook that he started at focus and faith.
As Peter starts to sink, oh wait, there I am again. I’m back to understanding Peter. I see the waves. I begin to realize that my feet are actually walking on those waves and I start looking around. I feel the wind, I remember the darkness and I forget Who I was walking toward. Peter called out, but sometimes I think that I’m sinking too fast to even do that. All I can think is, “I’m going to drown before I can even reach Him.”
But God doesn’t let me. His hand is there before I can even scream His name.
The more I’ve thought about what Peter asked, the more I’m baffled by it. I don’t know what Peter was thinking (but I’m gonna ask him one day!) or why in the world he didn’t just ask Jesus to calm the storm. Maybe in that split second, Peter recalled Jesus feeding the multitude with just five loaves and two little fish and thought, “I wonder what He could do now, here, in this storm?” Or maybe He would’ve rather been out in the storm beside Jesus than in a rocking boat without Him.
Whatever the reason, God chose to show us Peter’s faith and fear. His doubt, his failure. And, most importantly, God’s power through it all.
So now, let me ask you again, what would you ask God for?
Maybe you’d still ask for the storm to cease. I think I would too. It’s too scary, it’s too much!! But Jesus bid Peter come.
Come to Me. Come while the storm still rages. Come stand beside Me. I know you’re scared, but just come.
Peter didn’t get very far, but he did walk on the water. He took that step, and when he could go no farther, Jesus was there. He came to Peter. You know what happened as soon as they got back into the boat? The wind ceased. The storm calmed.
Peter walked back to the boat in the storm. During the night. Despite the waves. Can you imagine how it must’ve felt to walk on the water? I would’ve wanted the storm to stop, but I think walking on water would’ve filled me with greater awe. It would have made me trust more. It made a bigger impact on the ones watching back in the boat. God calming the storm would’ve been a miracle. But it wouldn’t have involved Peter.
What if whatever you’re going through, is part of God’s answer?
What if the pain and the burden are what is making you stronger?
What if the storm doesn’t stop and He just wants one little step of faith?
What if the miracle happens, before the storm is through?
The storm will end. It won’t last forever. What can you ask God to do while it still rages?
Listen to the song here: