NRS Matthew 14:22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This text is a vivid reminder that being a disciple of Christ does not give us a pass to avoid all of the storms in our lives. There are times when life will seem overwhelming as though we might sink in the chaos of the storm. When Peter was walking on water in the midst of the storm, he started to sink. It wasn’t really the storm which threatened him; it was his inability to have faith in God’s sustaining presence. Faith is what offers us the courage to endure throughout the perilous storms we experience. This story paints an amazingly comforting image of Jesus extending his hand to save Peter, it is the same hand which is extended to us. It is not a shallow gesture, no pun intended; it is a personal gesture of love to one of his faith-filled and doubt-filled disciples, Peter. It is personal and intimate, yet it is also for each of us. The strong hand of God reaches out for each of us.
Just as Peter is loved and rescued, we are loved and rescued. Peter began to sink and Jesus reached out. When we begin to sink, Jesus reaches out to us. So maybe the only question is whether you believe more in the winds that are against you or do you believe more in the power that can secure you in the midst of the storm? When the wind is against you, when the fear paralyzes you, when your faith is tested, you need only hold onto the knowledge that if we reach out, Jesus will not let us sink, not today, tomorrow, next week or next year.