May 232009

Dark waves swelled like a great black claw, ravaging the small craft, threatening to capsize it as each oscillation crested across the bow. The cruel wind thundered in their ears and bit savagely into their flesh as the disciples fought against the storm, battering their oars against the unrelenting sea, struggling to reach the far-off shore until they were drained of all strength. In the darkness, they saw a spirit atop the water, heading toward them. They huddled together, crying in terror. They did not know the ghost was the Son of man.

“Be comforted. I AM,” said Jesus. “Do not fear.”

Peter was unsure and bid the Lord to order him to walk out upon the water to where Jesus stood if it was truly him. “Come,” said Jesus, and Peter stepped onto the waves, buoyed up by the divine and miraculous grace of God, walking toward his salvation. But then Peter looked at the storm instead of keeping his eyes upon Jesus and failed his test of faith, crying out for the Lord to save him before he drowned. Jesus reached down with his strong arm and pulled Peter from the frothing sea, calling him, “you of little faith!”

Jesus showed Peter the miraculous when he asked. But Peter’s mind strayed to the world instead of focusing on God. Perhaps if Peter had been closer to the shore where his feet would have been able to touch the sea-bed he would not have faltered. But that wouldn’t have been the faith Jesus was looking for. Jesus wants “deep water” faith. And you can’t have deep water faith in the shallow end of the sea.