Amongst the Waves with Jesus

A Devotional for Finding Peace in a Troubled Time
(Matthew 14: 22-36)

By Paul Taylor, M.Div.

I would like us to refocus on the story of Peter’s walk with Jesus on the water from Matthew 14: 22-36, for I believe there are further truths which need to alight upon our hearts. In the last devotional, I talked about how our real task is to welcome Jesus into our boat.  In this devotional, I would like to examine the specific encounter between Jesus and Peter amid the storm.

Please take a few moments to read the story again. You will find an encounter with Jesus which moves from the twelve disciples to an encounter with the one, Peter.  As the disciples have been straining at the oars, they are battling the wind and waves only to see a ghost which turns out to be Jesus.  As Jesus approaches them with the words “Take heart; it is I.  Don’t be afraid.”, Peter’s heart is captivated with Jesus.  From this place of rapture and a desire to do as Jesus is doing, Peter cries out: “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”.  The response to his heart’s request: COME

With the command given, Peter steps over the side and begins to walk on water. How many steps he took we don’t know. What we do know is somewhere upon the waves Peter’s eyes lose contact with Jesus. His body begins to descend beneath the waves, and he cries out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately, Jesus takes hold of him saying “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt”. 

What I want to point out to you is the Bible states, “when he saw the wind” Peter became afraid and then began to sink. The wind is this invisible force which caused the waves to lift around Peter blinding him to the constant presence of Jesus. 

Today our invisible enemy heightens the circumstances around us (like COVID-19, financial crisis, relational disappointment, etc.) until we are blind to Jesus’ presence with us. It is then, like Peter, fear grips our heart and we begin to sink. Our faith turns to doubt, and our double mindedness keeps us from seeing Jesus’ hand extended to us. 

Today, I would encourage you to look through the circumstance. Though the enemies’ wind might be lifting circumstances ever higher, look through them. Jesus is still there. Jesus is still extending his Hand to you. Jesus is still in command. Don’t allow fear to grip your heart! Have faith! Jesus is there with you!

It is interesting to me that once Jesus is received into the boat, the Bible states “the wind ceased”. What causes the storm, is suddenly stilled. What blinds the eyes, is gone. And what remains is Jesus and His peace. It is then the disciples worship. For you see, worship and fear don’t mix.

A Prayer

Before going back to your day, I would ask you take a moment to commune with Jesus. Take your hand and place it over your heart. Now, engage your heart in this prayer. Pray it through once silently to yourself. Then with your heart engaged, pray it out loud. Is there a difference? Sometimes we need it declared aloud. It helps.

Lord, I thank you for Your presence today. I thank you it is You who walks upon the waves and whose presence stills the storm. As I choose to step out of my boat and venture upon the water with You today, may my eyes keep focused upon You despite the wind. In faith, I step into the intimacy of Your presence and the domain of Your peace. May Your hand be quick to rescue me from any fear for I long to be perfected in Your love. I ask to be surrounded by Your glory today as I walk with You. May my eyes see what You see, and my ears hear easily Your words to me. Thank you for stilling my storm. In Jesus Name, Amen!!

About the author. Paul Taylor works at Bethesda as a Resource Program Worker in the Supported Independent Living service. He also teaches in ‘Samuel’s Mantle’, a local prophetic school. Paul holds a Master of Divinity degree and has been in the pastoral ministry for 30 years.