Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them 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 immediately Jesus spoke 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 on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward 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 worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-33
I have always been troubled by how few people learn to swim. When we lived in Sitka, I was told there were so many deaths from drowning that every child has to learn to swim to graduate. I was told by an old fisherman friend that many of those who spend their lives fishing never learn to swim. And an friend who spend a good deal of time sailing told me at least half of the sailors he knows do not know how to swim. Their reasoning is they don't want to prolong the inevitable.
The disciples, who are seasoned fishermen, who have spent their lives on the water, are terrified and at wits end. The wind and the seas that surround them have them fearing for their lives. When Jesus comes to them on the water, they are afraid even more. Peter tries to be brave but still needs Jesus' help. The truth today is we all need God's help and we all come to the end of our capacity to deal with life's storms. God comes to us in the midst of the worst times, in our tumult and failure, our terror and our disaster and bring us resolution and peace.
Today I ask God to help me trust that there will always be a hand in every storm, God's strong arm to lift me when the seas of life are too rough. May we know when we run out of options, God is still ready with more.