“John, wake up!” James was anxious, shaking his brother, hoping he would wake up soon and not be angry with him.
“What! What is it?”
“Look, out on the water…what is that?”
“I don’t know, get Bartholomew up. NOW!” John yelled. Normally not scared of anything, John was just as frightened as his brother John. It had been a long evening, fighting the winds and the fury of the sea; and now, this…
“Bartholomew, come here! Tell us what that is!”
“What? Where?” Bartholomew yawned.
“On the water. Don’t you see it? It’s heading straight for us!”
“I don’t know. Is it a ghost?” Bartholomew asked half-heartedly.
“Yes! That must be it! It’s a ghost!” John and James were both screaming and running around the ship looking for something to defend themselves with.
The noise woke the other disciples up, and through their groggy, sleep filled eyes, they peered out into the night sea trying to figure out what exactly was coming there way.
Most of the disciples were accomplished fisherman and had spent years on the sea, but none of them had ever experienced anything like this. They were visibly frightened, and their fear exploded into the normally calm and peaceful reserves of the others.
“Where is Jesus? He could help us through this, tell us what that is.” Matthew exclaimed.
“He’s not here. Let me see for myself what you are all yelling about.” The overly confident Peter took to the helm of the ship, and stared out into the sea. His confidence slowly faded away, as he too was uncertain of what was coming their way.
The disciples continued to dwell in their fear, not sure if they should lift the anchor and head for the opposite shore, or stay their course. Then suddenly through the night sky, they heard a voice exclaim, “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid, it is me.” They were certain it was the voice of their Lord, but their fear gripped them more than they could imagine.
In the grips of fear, they started whispering among themselves… “It’s a trick… don’t listen to him… the ghost is trying to fool us… if we listen to it we will surely die.”
Then Peter, determined to take control of the situation, yelled out to the figure “If it is you, tell me it is okay to walk out to you on the water!”
James and John grabbed him.
“Peter, are you crazy? It’s a trick.”
“How can you be sure that is Jesus?”
“Don’t do it, Peter.”
Then Peter heard the voice. The voice he had heard many times before, the voice that could speak through any storm, any dark place, the voice that could tell him everything would be okay, the voice he had complete faith in…
“Come” was all the voice said. In that one simple command, Peter knew everything was going to be okay. He had no understanding of how he was going to walk on the water, or if he would even be able to do it, he just trusted completed in that voice and he stepped out…
Peter stepped out despite all the voices calling his to stay…
Peter stepped out despite the disciples trying to grab him and keep him exactly where they were at…
Peter stepped out, even though he was frightened and did not understand…
What is God calling you to step out into today?
Too often we concentrate and listen to the voices in our midst. We heed our friend’s advice; trust in chain e-mails, text messages, and responses on any number of our social network sites. We call out for the help of others, and then we find ourselves very confused and scared because we don’t know which voice to listen to.
In the midst of a stormy night, with the wind blowing rough, the boat tilting from side to side because of the force of the sea; one man heard the voice of God calling him to step out. He heard the voice over the voices and concerns of the men he would call brothers. He closed off everything in his world, and focused on one thing… the Master’s voice.
Are you scared about your next step? Do you have an important decision to make? Are you in the midst of a storm, and unsure which way to go? Is fear starting to overtake you, so much that you cannot hear the still, small voice whispering to you exactly what you need to hear…
That is God’s cry to us.
Come to God in the midst of your time of trouble.
Lean on Him even when you don’t understand.
Come to Him on your darkest night, in the hour of your deepest need, when fear is knocking on your door, and all you want to do is find a way out.
Come to Jesus.
Peter took that step out of the boat despite what everyone around him was telling him, and despite what everything he knew about the sea, and science can teach us about the sea and gravity… Peter stepped out certain of only one thing; that his Master would be there for him and catch him should he fall.
“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him…” (Matthew 14:31a)