It was not a normal night for him. In fact, it was probably the most terrifying, life-altering night of his life!
Here is his story;
“…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?” The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!” (Matt 14:22-31)
Incredible experience for Peter! How long did this encounter last, anyway? We view it now in imaginary slow motion. What an emotional ride it must have been! He went from believing in a ghost hovering over the water to trusting it was really Jesus.
Next, for some bizarre reason he yelled out; “If it’s really you, call to me to come out on the water.”
What!? Had he lost his mind?
Well… no, he was just being Peter. And there he was… walking on the water while all of his speechless friends in the boat were looking on. Pretty Crazy! Rising to leadership… taking a risk… jumping off the cliff… But, then came failure and he sank.
How could he have fallen so fast? He stopped looking at Jesus.
That’s the problem. He lost his focus.
We know now that he took his focus away from Jesus to the threats of the storm around him. Just like us many times, just when he was feeling awesome about himself, Peter found himself up against an impossible wall where all he could do is cry, “Help God!!”
Jesus shines in this story as a blazing light of hope for us. He knows we are going to fail in many ways, but He still loves it when we jump over the edge risking everything for Him! Don’t get discouraged and give up when you get in over your head in wild abandonment to His worldwide mission. If you will stay humble and let out your desperate cry… “Help!” He won’t let you down.
Throw off all of your discouragement and fear. Launch out of the boat and grab your real mission with Jesus. Rip a page from Peter’s story and jump over the edge!