22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”
29 “Come!” He said.
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
~Matthew 14:22-33 (HCSB)
Sometimes all you can do is breathe and take the next step forward. Don’t think. Don’t feel. Don’t look around. Just breathe and keep walking–one step at a time.
When Peter stepped out of that boat he had his eyes locked on Jesus. It was the moment he looked away and got caught up in the chaos of the wind and waves and the ridiculousness of walking on water that he began to sink.
But the best part of the story is even though Peter was overcome with fear and his solid footing melted underneath him, Jesus didn’t hesitate to close the gap between them. In a moment, he was at Peter’s side, helping him stand again.
Can you imagine Peter and Jesus walking hand in hand back to the boat? The wind still blew, the water continued to lick the tops of their feet, but I bet this time Peter didn’t look away from Jesus. Not because he was worried about sinking again, but because the Lord of the Universe was walking next to him, gripping his hand and the storm was nothing now compared to Peter’s wonder and gratitude.
Whatever happens, don’t be afraid. Step forward. Christ is on the water with you. Always.