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?” Matthew 14:24 - 31 (TMSG)
Think for a moment about Jesus as the lifeguard.
It had been a long night in a little boat and the disciples had fought the storm as best they could. In the midst of despair, suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water towards their boat. Somebody once told me that’s just like Jesus – he’ll walk over anything he has to if his children need him.
The disciples weren’t quite certain about what they saw. Peter finally spoke and said, “Master, if it’s really you let me come to you walking on the water…just like you.” Jesus simply said, “Come on.” It’s amazing to me Jesus did that knowing Peter would mess it up.
But Jesus simply said, “Come ahead.” Why did he do that?
He did it for the same reason he allows you and I to make a lot of dumb choices – God gave us all free will as a gift without any strings attached.
Why did God do that if he knew we’d mess up so badly? The same reason he allowed Peter to step out of the boat with fragile faith – so that Peter would understand that he is not Superman, and no amount of self-help and positive thinking can change the fact that we need God. Peter knew very quickly that without his hand firmly planted in Jesus’ hand, he was going down!
And when Peter realized without Jesus he was sunk, he was ready to receive a miracle. Because when he was flailing about thinking he was going to drown, he didn’t call the coast guard, or an ACLU lawyer or his momma…Peter simply said “Master, save me!”
This is a picture of where some of us stand tonight. Somehow it seems we should be able to walk on anything in front of us in this life. But we find out that’s not true.
We try all sorts of things to make us happy or feel safe, or better than we really are. But deep down we know it’s a struggle against the deep water – we are sinking, and we know our need for God.
Do you know why God hasn’t just picked you up and rescued you? He’s doing what any lifeguard knows – you don’t rescue a drowning person until they stop struggling against you.
For You Today
So….the question before the house tonight is…are you ready to put an end to the struggle between you and the Lifeguard? That can happen if you’re ready like Peter was ready.
It begins in the heart where the words “Master, save me” are formed, and then launched out the mouth as a prayer of desperation. “Master, save this drowning sinner; amen”