The sun pierced through the clouds; and with the help of the wind, it pushed them away. As its rays glitter off the droplets clinging to the leaves, their warmth penetrates everything around you. Your once darkened world is now aglow, and the numbness that once held you captive is starting the leave your body. You take a deep breath, you survived.
The storm had ripped through, torturing apart everything in its path. The rain mercilessly assaulted your windows, taunting your sense of security. And the wind not only screamed around your home but threatened to lift it off its foundation. The terror that took up residence in your heart is still there, but its waning. Shakily you step outside to assess the damage.
Limbs litter the ground, leaves are scattered everywhere, and a small tree lays on its side, uprooted. But everything else seems to be intact. It’s quiet at first; then a bird starts to sing. And then another. Soon a joyful chorus is raining down, washing the last of the terror from your heart.
Then a bright light catches your eye, demanding your attention. You walk over to find the light is a reflecting off a puddle whose surface is perfectly still. A mirror, reflecting everything around it. You feel drawn to it, compelled to look in. What are you going to see?
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:29-33 NIV)
Peter coming out to Jesus on the water is a beautiful model for us as we endure the raging storms of life. One of my favorite parts is when Peter calls out for deliverance, and Jesus immediately reaches out His hand. He reaches out His hand to us as well. To comfort, to guide, to give peace, to heal, to ease the pain, and sometimes to remove us from a horrifying situation.
Interestingly, the storm didn’t stop until AFTER they got into the boat. Peter clung to Jesus as they walked through it together. He had to trust Jesus every step of the way, to lead him to where they needed to go because he couldn’t see past the waves or the through the blinding rain.
Once they climbed aboard and the sun came out, I imagine Peter standing transfixed by the growing puddle at his feet. As the lake water ran off his garments and mixed with the rainwater from the storm, I wonder what he saw reflected back at him. What did he reflect on within himself? What did he learn in that experience? What did he lose? How did his faith grow? What aspects of Jesus’s character and power were no longer something he knew about but were something he KNEW?
When Peter called out to Jesus, I think he expected the wind and waves to stop tossing him around. I think he envisioned the sun to bursting forth, dragging a rainbow behind it. I wonder if he imagined a chorus of birds heralding his salvation. However, I don’t think he expected to continue enduring the storm. He had seen Jesus calm storms before, with just a word. Why didn’t He this time?
I believe it’s because he would’ve been robbed of what he’d see reflected in his puddle:
- An understanding of Jesus’s care for him
- Knowledge that Jesus immediately responds when he cries out
- The opportunity for his faith to grow.
- Assurance of Jesus’s power
- And the knowledge that even though the waves raged over his head and the wind howled around him, Jesus was still in complete control.
What about your puddle? What do you see reflected on its surface? In your heart? What changed for you? How did you grow? What did you lose? How did your faith change and grow?
But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you walk through rivers of difficulty,
You will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.