“And in the fourth watch of the night, He came walking towards them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But at once, Jesus called out to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid’. Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You across the water’. Jesus said, ‘Come’. So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘Truly, You are the Son of God’.” (cf.Mt.14:25-32)
I find it hard not to imagine myself in the place of Peter, filled with all sorts of good intentions, and yet failing at every turn. And in those moments of failure, doing the only thing I can do – calling out to the Lord, asking Him to save me. I expect many others will have the same experience.
Peter, thankfully, did not allow his repeated failures to stop him; rather, he continued along the path on which he had set out, and which would eventually lead to his death, years later. Similar to that of his Master, this death would prove to be a ‘sign of contradiction’ – apparent failure and ignominy, but in reality, the gateway of glory.
Trusting in the Lord allows us to respond to Him as He would wish us too; to come across the waters of whatever storms life throws at us, confident that He calms those storms, stills the waves, and helps us to reach Him by extending His hand to us.
Indeed, perhaps this is one of the reasons for storms arising; these tend to be the moments in which we are most likely to turn to the Lord and, like Peter, to call out to Him – ‘Lord, save me’.
Perhaps it is really only in that moment, when we let go of our self-reliance, that we can begin to rely on the One who has the power to help us and to save us. All through life, He extends His hand toward us; but maybe it is in that particular moment that we then extend ours, too, and reach out to Him.