Beneath the Waves
September 6, 2019
Last evening as the final event my wife, Amy, had planned for my birthday she had purchased tickets for the musical, “Newsies” now being performed at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Our sons, Aidan and Brian also joined us.
There are times in our lives when we get so burdened down from the weight we are carrying that we feel ourselves sinking. The weight of our load is not usually seen by those around us, but the effects of the load we carry begins to show in our attitudes, our posture, our words, and our emotions.
Although we are never alone in this walk of life, when we begin to carry the issues of life on our backs one can easily separate themselves from others to try to carry it all alone. The darkness begins to creep in slowly until we have fallen beneath the waves of our crashing storm.
A man named Peter, a disciple of Jesus experienced the crashing waves as he tried to walk alone. Although his faith had been strong, he tried to do something that measured his faith in a dramatic way.
The scene is from the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 14. We will camp out here for a few moments to capture the events in our own minds and hopefully apply them to our own life experiences.
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountains by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Now in the fourth watch of the night (3 to 6 AM) Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched our His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
How I long to have the faith of Peter. Faith that masters the fear of actually getting out of the boat in the middle of a storm in the first place.
Peter knew this: if God calls and commands something to be, we can do extraordinary things. First, Peter was obedient to the Lords command. He locked his gaze on the eyes of Jesus while stepping out of the boat and on to the water. By faith while keeping his eyes on Jesus, Peter walked where no other but Jesus had walked.
With the waves crashing all around, lightning striking, thunder rolling, waves splashing in Peters face, he took his eyes off Jesus and immediately began to sink.
Beneath the waves, one drowns in helpless anguish. If we call out to Jesus our Savior, fixing our eyes back on Him, immediately He reaches down to pull us to safety. Just fix your eyes on Jesus and He will always bring you out of a storm safely.
“The difference between fear and faith is focus.” (notes from Dr. David Jeremiah)