Immediately he 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 towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, 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 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 worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. Matthew 14:22-36
I am attached and defined by water. We all are mostly water and some people like me, need to be close to water. I am a swimmer, and have spent much of my life by the ocean. I am drawn to it, called and defined by it, and ache for it when far away in dry, arid places. I love the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean, and when I need to clear my head, or get centered, it is the ocean that I seek. A few hours with my toes dug into the sand, listening to the seagulls cry, can restore my faith, hope and vision.
Most of the disciples are men whose livelihoods depended on the water. They were comfortable and familiar with her calm times and storms. For them to be frightened by the wind and waves, meant what they faced was life threatening, a storm of the century. In the midst of this storm Jesus walks to them on water, calms the sea, and pulls Peter from his dying despair. God calls us to hear that Jesus is walking towards us in our dying despair, when our professional skills have failed, and when hope has died. God moves towards us in the most unimaginable storms bringing healing and new life.
Today I ask God to deepen my trust. When winds and waves of despair and personal assaults overwhelm us, when our bodies and skills fail, may we cling to the knowledge that the Divine is seeking us out bringing healing and new life in the midst of the worst we face.