Matthew 14: 22-23
As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.
Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
There is an African American saying that we are always either going into a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm.
Disciples are those who are learning to call on Jesus the Son of God, in all three conditions. When our boat is battered by waves, we can call on Jesus. When our boat is far from land, we can call on Jesus. When our boat has the wind against it, we can call on Jesus. He knows our sufferings. He is approaching. He is present and able to offer assistance. He has been here all along.
The question is, how are we going to respond to that knowledge? Are we going to keep focusing on the wind and the waves, or on the outstretched hand of our Lord?
Jesus never stands on the shore watching us suffer, but is always walking toward us on the sea, stretching out a hand to us – with forgiveness, with love. Reaching out a hand to us that is both very human, and the very hand of God.