But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“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?” Matthew 14:27-31
I love watching home movies. In fact, I think my brother, sister, and I have most of our home movies memorized and we often quote our childhood selves in conversation! One of my favorite clips happens to be from when my sister was first learning to walk and I was almost four years old. My dad was the one holding the video camera and my sister keeps stepping out to walk to my mom. I keep running around my sister in circles trying to be “helpful.” I hold out a little teddy bear to her and keep yelling in my strong southern twang, “Come get your bear! Come get your little bear!” Throughout the short clip, my mom wears a smile on her face. She’s reaching towards my sister with arms open wide ready to catch her if she stumbles.
What you won’t see on the video is my mom getting upset with my sister when she falls. That wouldn’t make any sense! She was just a baby. My mom was so excited for her to even take one step on her own!
Look back up at the passage of scripture we are reading today. The disciples had been out on the lake in the middle of the night when they see a figure coming out towards them on the water. Thinking they’ve seen a ghost they cry out in fear. But it isn’t a ghost at all, it’s Jesus and he says to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!”
Peter decides to do just that, to take courage. “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus tells him to come! Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus on the water! Peter is living a miracle. But soon, Peter loses his focus and he starts to get scared because of the wind and the waves from the storm. Peter starts to sink. But don’t worry – this isn’t the end!
My favorite part happens next. Jesus doesn’t look down at Peter in anger or let him sink. The Bible says that immediately Jesus reached out and took his hand. Peter was learning to take steps of faith and Jesus was there to catch him when he fell.
Remember how my mom stood with a smile on her face and her arms open wide for my sister? Jesus looks at you with love, and He’s asking you to take steps of faith every day! Even when we fall, He still loves us enough to reach for His hand and set us on our way again!
P.S. Read Ephesians 3:16-19 and then pray that you would know God’s love that is so deep and so wide!