"And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-32)
Have you ever had a defining moment of faith in your relationship with Jesus? Like Peter, many of us do not realize we are caught up in a crisis of faith until the circumstances around us starts going sideways. The thing that makes circumstances so challenging is the fact that we, like Peter, are completely unprepared. Being unprepared frightens us to the core.
In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, many Christians are at a walking on the water moment with Jesus. Our grocery stores are low on supplies, jobs are cutting our hours, church buildings are closed, schools are shutting down, convenient stores are not accepting our returns, everywhere we turn there is seemingly some pandemonium. Throughout all of this, it seems there is a constant wave of fear trying it’s best to crash onto our boats of faith.
Where is Jesus in all of this chaos? He’s on the water, and that’s exactly where we are called to be. Like Peter realised, walking on water with Jesus is realised when we are willing to step outside of the boat. It is hidden deep inside the risk of faith. For Peter, there was no certainty that he wouldn’t sink. In fact, the evidence was completely stacked against him. Who would ever try to walk on water? You’d sink every time if you’d try!
For Peter, this realisation was true, however, there was one thing that was the exception. Jesus. Jesus was walking on water. Peter, wanting to become like Jesus, decided the risk was worth the reward. If the risk meant becoming like the one who was on the water, then Peter was all up for it. Peter took a giant leap of faith with one step. For Peter, the task was simple. Follow Jesus, even if it meant walking on water.
This passage of scripture is so encouraging to me because of the times. The COVID-19 seems as impossible to conquer as walking on water. As a father of three young boys, to think of all the things I have to do to keep my family safe seems impossible at times. When I begin to think of their safety in the midst of COVID-19 I begin to fear, and maybe that’s the point I’m missing - we are missing as Christians. By constantly focusing our minds on the coronavirus, we taking our eyes off of Jesus - who is in the midst of the storm, walking on water.
If you think about it, when did Peter sink? It was only when he looked at the wind and allowed fear to overcome his perspective. The same is true for us today, we must do our very best to keep our eyes on Jesus despite the wind of the coronavirus. Sure, it’s scary. Walking on water, for Peter, was as well. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Peter walked on water, and so can we, despite what others may think.
Jesus releases the capacity for us to have supernatural peace during life’s most difficult storms. By fixing our minds on Him through the storm, we enable our lives to access the peace of Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)