His request would require a miracle. The miracle occurred in an instant. Nothing was too hard for God! The lesson was taught.

After an exhausting day of feeding five thousand men as well as women and children, Jesus directed His disciples to sail to the other side of the lake. His plan was to meet the disciples later. As the disciples prepared to set sail, Jesus said goodbye to the multitude. The throng of people had been persistent in following His every step, and listening to every His word. As they parted company, Jesus went into a mountain to pray.

Jesus spent the evening in solitude. The time alone, in prayer, was a significant component of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It serves as an example to His followers to spend quite time alone in prayer to the Heavenly Father, every day. In addition, solitude is considered one of the core Christian disciplines. Through it, genuine communion with God is experienced.

As Jesus was entrenched in time alone with His Father, the disciples were experiencing a raging storm upon the sea. The wind and the rain were wreaking havoc upon their ship. They were afraid for their lives. It was now between three to six o’clock in the morning. The darkness of the hour, coupled with the danger of falling overboard, gripped the hearts of the sojourners.

In the midst of the storm, Jesus came, walking upon the water. The disciples were terrified, and cried out in fear. They could only assume it was a ghost. In their humanity, coupled with the infancy of their faith, the disciples responded as most people would. Jesus recognized that they were terrified, and called upon them to set their fear aside, and be of good cheer. A genuine “blessed assurance” from the Master of the Sea!

It was at this moment that Peter made his bold request, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” (Matthew 14:28).

Was Peter really asking Jesus to enable him to walk upon the water? Indeed, he was! This bold, provocative, audacious request would necessitate a miracle. In response to this bold prayer of faith, Jesus bid him to come. At that instant Peter stepped out of the ship, and walked on water to come to Jesus.

A poignant lesson was quickly learned. Peter, witnessing the effects of the boisterous winds upon the sea, took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. His cry for help saved him. Jesus immediately rebuked the doubting disciple, telling him he had little faith, and then asking him why he doubted.

Isn’t it outrageous to think that within moments, Peter boldly requested a miracle — experienced it — and then sank as a result of a lack of faith? Wow, from hero to zero!

Lest we be too critical of Peter, let us consider our own shortfalls of faith.

We must contemplate a vital point in this gospel story. Jesus is the omniscient, sovereign Son of God. He knew there would be a storm on the sea; He orchestrated it! He told to disciples to sojourn without Him, according to His lesson plan. He provisioned, that very day, the miraculous feeding of over 5,000 people. These were powerful lessons for a disciple to learn in their journey of faith.

The trials and tribulations of God’s people have a purpose. Through them all, God wants us to learn about Him; to learn about ourselves, and to learn about others. The Lord who miraculously fed 5,000 could also preserve His disciples in a storm.

We must not fear; we must not doubt; we must not waiver. We must be steadfast and unmovable in our reliance on the Almighty.

The disciples were tested, and were found fearful. Peter, though bold in a request to walk on water, quickly failed as a result of fleeting faith. The lesson to learn is that nothing is impossible with God. In addition, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Circumstances of life must not shipwreck our confidence in God. God loves us, watches over us, will never leave us or forsake us, and will sustain us through every trial in life. Trust Him.

Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Reach Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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