Peter’s recollections…well, maybe.
“I’m telling you Paul, it was the wildest day I’ve ever seen, I mean, it was absolutely crazy…I wish you could have been there!”
“Pete, I don’t think you would have wanted me there at the time.”
“Oh yeah, you were still with the ‘Dark Side’ back then. Well, anyway, here’s how it went down. Jesus had gotten into a boat to try and find some peace and quiet, and to just be alone for a little while. Remember, this was right after we heard about John the Baptist’s terrible death. But, like always, the crowds just couldn’t leave Him alone. They followed us everywhere we went. Who could blame them? They’d seen Him heal people and would come from all over, bringing their sick family and friends, just hoping to touch His clothes or His hand.”
“Well, this time was no different, and neither was He. As soon as He saw them, He got out of the boat and came ashore. Such love and compassion…I’m still just beginning to understand. And this crowd was big…I’m talking humongous. And all day He’d met each need, healing whoever came to Him. Well, about evening time, we’re starting to get hungry, and so was the crowd. We were trying to shoo them away to town to get food for themselves so we could grab a bite too…I mean, we were so far away from a grocery store.”
“Now get this part, Jesus says, ‘Don’t send them away, give them something to eat.’ ‘How?, we said. There’s not even so much as a fruit stand for miles. All we have is some kid’s picnic lunch.’ OK… long story short. We bring Him this kid’s lunch and he divides it so it feeds everybody! Paul, I’m talking 5,000 guys here, not even counting the women and kids. When we were done, we took up 12 baskets of leftovers. It was Amazing! I was thinking our worries were over…we’ve got to capitalize on this…we’re talking the original fast food here…I can see franchises everywhere. But afterward, He told us to get in the boat and go on ahead without Him. He was really tired, and wanted some time alone to pray. And as usual, I just wasn’t focusing on the big picture.”
“Anyway, if you think that was something, wait ‘til you hear the rest of this. It get’s wilder. That night we’re out on this lake, about a mile from shore, and the wind starts to pick up. Then the waves come. I’m talking major storm here and nobody’s getting any sleep. About three o’clock in the morning, one of the guys spots someone walking on the water toward us. He yells, ‘it’s a ghost’! Yeah, I know, I don’t believe in ghosts either, but you gotta admit, this was scary. About that time we hear Jesus’ voice.”
“Hey guys, don’t worry, it’s Me. There’s nothing to be afraid of”.
“Can you believe that? Well, it took a minute for me to get my head on straight, but I said, ‘Lord, if it’s You, let me come to You.’ And then He said, ‘Come on, Simon.’ He called me that sometimes…He said it had something to do with a rock or something…but I kind of liked it.”
“So I summon up all the guts I can, and climb out of the boat. All the time I’m watching Him, and he’s just smiling at me…encouraging me. You know how He is, Paul.”
“Yes, I do, Pete, but I had to learn the hard way. But go on, what did you do then?”
“Well, I put my foot on the water, and start walking to Him. And it’s like I’m on solid ground. I’m walking on this lake like it’s a sidewalk! Everything was cool till I started looking around at the waves and the wind. The lake was going nuts, and I’m walking right in the middle of it! It was about then I started to sink. I don’t know why, I just started to lose faith. I think I’d been hanging around Tom too long. You know, he’s the original doubter. He has to put his hands on something before he’ll believe anything. Anyway, I’m sinking fast and I start yelling, ‘Save me Lord!’ Then as gently as can be, He reaches out to me and lifts me right up, and helps me into the boat. And as soon as we get in, the wind stops and the water calms right down! All I could do was fall at His feet and worship Him. Paul, how could I ever forget He’s the Son of God?
“I don’t know, but I understand, Pete…I’ve been there. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget again. You’ve gotta hear what happened to me on the way to Damascus…but, it’s getting late, we’ll save that for another day.”…
Alright, maybe Peter didn’t tell it exactly like that, and if you want to read the real story, check out Matthew 14. But here’s the thing…I know as well as Peter that Jesus is my Savior. I know in my heart “…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” John 1:1. Or as the Holman Christian Standard Version explains, God literally “took up residence” among us.
I’ve seen everyday miracles. The seasons change like clockwork…the acorn becomes the mighty oak…I watched our daughter being born…and miracle of miracles, I’ve seen Him change a heart.
Yet, I still yield to pressure, I still lose faith from time to time. Sometimes when I worry, my neck just tightens up from the stress…but deep inside, I know better. My point is this, like Peter; we have hope in a Savior who lives! When the winds roar and waves crash, we need only to call on Him, and He will plant our feet on solid ground…and the only way to stay ‘grounded’, is to stay in His Word.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.