Careful now where you step, the dock is slippery in this rain. Here, give me your hand. Up you go… and now you. This is a fine catch of fish, you have. Shall I clean them for you? I am delighted to do so, and you can hear the rest of my story while I teach you the Andrew method of cleaning fish. Oh, sorry, did I slap your back too hard? Sometimes I forget my own strength.
That night, we had no strength. Our bellies melted with fear. I could tell we were making a slight headway because that single point I was watching when we made it to the peak of each wave, had moved a bit to port and had gotten a good deal closer. It seemed to me we would not make Bethsaida this night.
It was the fourth watch of night. In no way could we sleep with the storm throwing cold water in our faces. I was shocked out of my fear when the boat topped the next peak, I saw Jesus walking toward us. At my scream, the others turned to see and some exclaimed it was a ghost. I knew it was Jesus, but my throat was closed so tight, not even a squeak could make it out of my mouth.
He said, “Be comforted. I AM. Do not fear.”
My brother, foolhardy that day as he was in his youth, leaned over the side of the boat and cried out, “Lord, if it really is You, then command me to come to You on the waters.”
If it were possible, my jaw dropped even lower. Only choking on the sea spray made me close my mouth, for Jesus did so command. Just like the flash of summer lightening, Peter was out of the boat and walking toward our Lord. We were stunned.
I can see by the looks on your faces you think I am lying.
I tell you the truth, my brother walked upon those towering waves toward Jesus. Then he began to sink. He told me later that he had, at first, only had eyes for Jesus, but then he felt the storm, the giant waves, the cold wind and he lost sight of the power which held him up. Jesus quickly stretched out and grabbed Peter and said, “Little-faith, why did you doubt?” Then He helped Peter into the boat and once Himself was in the boat, the wind ceased and the waves were calm. No gesture from Him. No words fell from His lips. Calm waters like that of a summer afternoon proved the elements obeyed His silent will!
Only one other time had we seen anything like that. Jesus rebuked the wind, then, “Peace! Be still!” At His first word, the waves settled into glass-like calm and the wind ceased like someone had shut the door upon it. That time we wondered who He was that the elements obeyed His voice. This time, I could not help myself. My knees buckled and I fell on my face, worshiping the Son of God. At that moment I knew beyond doubt that He was Who He said He was.
I did not understand the miracle of the loaves. I was blind and my heart was like a stony ground. But, when that wind cut off… when those giant waves became instantly like glass… when the moon’s face glowed upon the head of the Lord… I knew who He was.
However, I am ashamed to admit that I did not fully understand all the implications of that day. I was so stupid that when the true storm hit and the very real danger exploded into our lives tearing Jesus from our midst and those lies and deceptions of the Pharisees put Jesus on the cross, I ran just as if I had sunk into the depths of the sea all the way to the bottom. We all scattered. We failed Him. And yet, that glorious morning, He let us know beyond doubt that He forgave us. That, my friend, is peace.
You do not see it? Oh, excuse me! I did not mean to swing the blade so close to your nose. Please forgive me. Take the blade and scrape the scales like this. Yes. You have it now. Do not miss one, they are quite sharp in the mouth.
Let me explain the implications to you.
All the Disciples that Jesus had chosen to follow Him were in that boat. Do you suppose that He would allow anything to cause us harm? Do you suppose that since He could calm the waves and shut off the wind with a single breath from His mouth that He would allow us to suffer that storm unto death? Pah! Decidedly not. It was a lesson, a test, a travail. We had eyes only for the storm. The Lord has eyes for us.
In the desert, He is there. In the wilderness, He is there. Whether He is on the mountain praying, He is watching you in the storm and He is always within reach. His is the power of bara, creation from nothing. Through Him all things were created. How can the wind not obey His voice? How can the sea not submit to His will? The storms will always come, but He is ever constant. Raging torrents of trials and tribulations have no power over those whom love the Lord. That, my friends, is Peace.
I offer this peace to you. You know how to fish now. You will never starve. Know this, if you believe in Jesus, you will never go hungry and never be thirsty. The storms will come, yes, but there will always be peace in your heart.
Psa 4:8 I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Jehovah, make me dwell in safety.