He is Waiting in the Midst of the Storm
by Max Lucado
Peter knows he is in trouble.
The winds roar down onto the Sea of Galilee like a hawk on a rat. Lightning zigzags across the black sky. The clouds vibrate with thunder. The rain taps, then pops, then slaps against the deck of the boat until everyone aboard is soaked and shaking. Ten-foot waves pick them up and slam them down again with bonejarring force.
These drenched men don’t look like a team of apostles who are only a decade away from changing the world. And you can be sure of one thing. The one with the widest eyes is the one with the biggest biceps—Peter. He’s seen these storms before. He’s seen the wreckage and bloated bodies float to shore. He knows what the fury of wind and wave can do. And he knows that times like this are not times to make a name for yourself; they’re times to get some help.
That is why, when he sees Jesus walking on the water toward the boat, he is the first to say, “Lord, if it’s you … tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)
He is aware of two facts: He’s going down, and Jesus is staying up. And it doesn’t take him too long to decide where he would rather be.
Perhaps a better interpretation of his request would be, “Jeeeeeeeesus. If that is you, then get me out of here!”
“Come on” is the invitation.
And Peter doesn’t have to be told twice. It’s not every day that you walk on water through waves that are taller than you are. But when faced with the alternative of sure death or possible life, Peter knows which one he wants.
The first few steps go well. But a few strides out onto the water, and he forgets to look to the One who got him there in the first place, and down he plunges.
Peter’s response may lack class—it probably wouldn’t get him on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly or even Sports Illustrated—but it gets him out of some deep water:
And since Peter would rather swallow pride than water, a hand comes through the rain and pulls him up.
The message is clear.
As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option. As long as you can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as your situation brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because he won’t be taken half-heartedly.
But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm.
The Applause of Heaven
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999) Max Lucado