#4. Coming Back to the Boat
Coming Back to the Boat – Peter Walks on Water Series: #4
So, Peter is walking on water with Jesus, the wind and the fear of the storm catch his attention. His gaze turns from Jesus to the storm. Suddenly, he is no longer doing the impossible, he starts to sink as the fingers of fear grip his heart, and let’s be honest: fear makes us all freeze in our tracks and begin to sink.
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” – Matthew 14:30-32 NIV
When Peter calls for help, Jesus is sure to scoop him up; and faithful to scoop up any one of His falling birds: you and me.
Yet, surprisingly, after all this: Jesus leads Peter BACK to the boat. Shoot, the boat seems useless at this point – after such a spiritual high. Forget the boat, we don’t need it anyway. Why don’t they just walk back to the shore together? Nope, that’s not Jesus’ style.
Jesus leads Peter right back to the man-made comfort, an old comfort, that was not only a symbol of safety but also one of provision (as Peter made his livelihood as a fisherman). But after all that’s transpired, Peter must have had a fresh perspective coming back to the boat.In the past, this craft could have been an easy candidate for idol worship in Peter’s heart. Perhaps Jesus leads Peter back to this boat to solidify Peter’s lessons out on the water.
Jesus was above the boat and above the storm: this was a parable in action.
Never the Same Again.
I imagine Peter would have been so changed from his experience with Jesus out on the water, that he would never look at that boat (a provision of comfort) or any storm (challenge or loss) the same way again. The boats in his life would never be as tempting to idolize because they’ve failed him in the past. Putting his foot back on that boat’s wooden bottom, it now held the right position in Peter’s mind. They are little “gods” not to be worshipped, but enjoyed as provision and blessings with a thankful heart.
Looking over the edge of the boat as he shivered and watched the storm calm, he probably smiled a small smile: no future storm would ever grip his heart the way storms have in the past. He could look forward to the future without caving into and crippling over in fear. He now knew: Christ was always with him, ready and powerful enough to help and shield him in any storm.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:8 NIV