“And Peter…walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid” (Matthew 14:29–30). The waves on the sea were truly high, and the wind was truly violent and overwhelmingly turbulent. But Peter did not notice or take them into consideration at first. He simply realized that it was Jesus and went out to Him. Picture the scene—Peter walking on the water with Jesus! Then he was rescued—right in the midst of the violent storm. As soon as Peter started considering what he was really doing, he sunk! But when Jesus held his hand, he was able to walk on the water, and the same is true for us.
Jesus had just miraculously fed 5000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, and then He went to rest in a quiet place alone. But He had not forgotten His disciples. When their time of greatest need came, Jesus also came—the strong One, Who was mighty to deliver and save them.
Jesus could have made it possible for Peter to walk below the restless waves as well as he did on their highest point. But first Peter had to recognize Him. Many times we do the same thing. We step out believing God about some situation, then we step back and consider ourself in the situation and begin to sink. You may recognize Jesus in your storm, but you have no right to analyze where He will steer your circumstances. Certain situations you encounter are definitely real, but you let yourself be overwhelmed as soon as you look at the difficulty and stop recognizing Jesus. As a result, He will sternly reprove you, saying “Wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Our doubts are not controlled by our reason. If a dire situation stirs up even a little faith in you, then you have enough reason to be very confident. And if you feel it is correct to trust Jesus sometimes, why don’t you trust Him all the time? Peter’s strong point was his trust, but his dangerous point was his doubt. When Peter walked on the water, it looked like he had much faith, but as soon as a slight wind came, his faith became slight also. We don’t really know if we can rely on our faith until it has been tried. After Jesus grabbed Peter by the hand, he stopped sinking, and his faith stopped sinking too. It is not hard to have faith when Jesus is nearby! But Jesus also comes to us when our faith has given out, and that is when we are able to walk on the water in the midst of the storm.
Peter began looking at the raging wind and stopped looking to Jesus. Then his heart sunk and he went down! It is terrible when you start to sink, but don’t forget that it is only the beginning. When Peter cried out to his Lord, Who was not sinking, his eyes and his faith were back on Jesus. His prayer was not very long, but it said all he needed at that moment. As soon as he cried out to Jesus, he was safe. His obedience to Jesus brought him through the dangerous storm, because Jesus was his Lord, whether he was in a perilous situation or was secure. Peter knew he was lost unless Jesus would come and save him totally, right that minute! Peter was closer to Jesus when he was going down to his grave in the water than he was when he walked to Him on the water.
It doesn’t matter what the situation is in your life right now. You need to recognize Jesus on the scene and keep relying completely on Him. Don’t make an argument after God speaks to you, wondering if you truly heard from Him. If He says it, do it! Don’t try to figure out what the consequences will be for you and what it might cost you. Do what He says at once and put your complete trust in Him. You never know when He will speak to you! But when He does, when you become aware it is really Him speaking, throw your timid caution to the wind and stake everything on what He says. If He says “Walk on the water to Me,” then do it! He won’t let you sink or drown if He tells you to come. If you listen to Him and obey what He says, then you will start recognizing His voice more clearly.
Every time you face a storm in your life, you need to recognize Jesus as He comes toward you walking on the water. If you don’t get impatient as you wait for Him in the midst of the wailing storm, you will hear His voice saying: “Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27).
Do you really want to get to Jesus? Then you need to make a desperate attempt, even to the point of walking on the water when necessary. If you will do this, Jesus will make it possible for you to do the impossible to reach Him and be saved!