I'm not a fan of working the night shift.
There comes a stage when you get so tired, you start to feel a bit barmy. You wonder what you’re doing and realise you’ve been staring at the same thing for the last 10 minutes when you were actually supposed to be working.
Usually, that’s sometime after 3am. That’s when it happened. There was a bit of a storm brewing when He told us to go on ahead. I’d have happily caught my night’s sleep in someone’s house but He had other plans. So we all got into the boat and started the journey.
Jesus said He wanted to talk to God. It’s amazing how much of His day is spent talking to God. He does it all the time. Funny thing is, we don’t feel left out by it, it’s like He spends the right amount of time with each of us too.
Anyway, I was on lookout and it was rough. It was windy and the waves were coming over the edge of the boat at times. So I was staring into the distance when I realised that 2 things had happened. I’d been looking at the same spot seeing nothing for ages, and then there was some sort of thing moving across the water.
Now, I’ve been a fisherman for a long time and I’ve seen some whoppers, but this…….. This was different. It wasn’t swimming. I don’t think it was anyway. It looked like a ghost and I called one of the lads to see it. We watched it for a bit and realised it definitely wasn’t a fish and it certainly wasn’t swimming. That’s when we started panicking. This thing was staying over the water and looked to be hovering on the surface. Then this voice came from the direction of the ghost.
“Don’t be afraid, it’s Me!”
Now, I’ve seen some outrageous stuff that this guy has done, but in fairness, how was He managing to walk on the water? I got to get myself a bit of this action. I’ve seen Him make blind people see, deaf people hear and lame people walk and what He did for Jairus’ daughter was incredible. I know……
“Lord if it’s really you, tell me to walk over to you!”.
When He said “Come!” I nearly fell out of the boat! The lads looked at me as if I was mad. Thomas went to grab my arm to get me to think but before I knew it, I’d swung my legs over the edge and……
…. That’s weird. I really can’t describe it to you. The best way would be to say it was like walking on jelly, but that hasn’t been invented yet. My feet were wet but I wasn’t sinking. Jesus smiled at me and I started slowly walking on the water.
I was walking on the water.
I was walking on the water.
I was walking on the……………….. Waves are getting a bit rough. That one looks like it’s going to get me, and I’m a bit unstable in this wind, what’s that swimming over there? Looks big, maybe it’s a……. I’m sinking! Jesus I’m sinking! "HELP!"
Before I’d finished the word, He had grabbed me by the arm and pulled me up. Smiling, He said “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” and before I knew it, we were in the boat again.
It was only then that I noticed Jesus was putting His sandals on. “It’s water” He said. “Of course you’ll get a little bit wet” and He laughed. And at that instant, the wind died down, the sea became calm and we, well all we could do was admire Him and worship Him.
This guy was way beyond anyone I’ve ever met.
I mean after this got out, people were just touching his clothes and getting healed. What was happening was growing and to be honest, it was great fun. This guy, He was the best company and we had the greatest times friends have ever had together. Everybody was healed. Everybody.
I’m even amazed thinking about it now.
Matthew 14 v 22-36
Changing your perspective on a story in the Bible can bring it to life in a completely new way. I've never thought about what was going on in Peter's mind that night until earlier on this week. I've never really considered his reaction when he saw Jesus walking towards him, or when he started to sink. I'd forgotten that it was a rough night too, Jesus didn't walk on a still lake, there were waves, there was wind and it was choppy. It was the waves that caused Peter to take his eyes off Jesus, circumstances started to get the better of him.
He suddenly realised that what he was doing wasn't 'natural'. He was doing something extraordinary and was out of his comfort zone, but as soon as he called out to Jesus, He grabbed Peter. He saved him, something He was always in the process of doing, being there when we needed Him most. In fact, He is always there for us when we need Him.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples, it was always in love. When Jesus said "You of little faith", was He smiling? Was He slagging the disciples? Having a bit of a laugh with them? I don't think the nature of Jesus is to scold when we get things wrong. I think He loves us and is excited that we are closer to getting it right the next time!
Jesus is The Encourager. He is your greatest supporter. He is the one who focuses on building you up. He loves you and is completely in your corner.
Next time circumstances seem to be getting too much, call Him and He'll be with you before you've even finished the word. That's love, that's Jesus.