...the disciples were on the lake below, trying to row across it.
It was very dark now, and a strong wind was blowing right in their faces. Well, right in the faces of the lucky ones who werent trying to row against it. Those poor guys had their backs to the wind and were rowing against it with all their might - and hardly getting anywhere!
This is just great! they were probably grumbling to each other as sprays of water splashed in their faces and the waves tossed their little boat every which way - except the way they wanted to go! Jesus sends us out across the lake with this blasted wind doing its best to blow us back! Couldnt he do something about that?! (We like to grumble whenever things get hard, dont we.)
But Jesus could see that they were in trouble.
The wind was howling, the sea was still tossing their boat this way and that, when one of the disciples happened to look out into the night.
WHAT IS THAT?!!!
There was a man walking on the water!!!
In the dark of the night they saw a man coming towards them on the water - his hair was blowing wildly, his robe was being whipped by the wind like a flag in a windstorm.
They were terrified!
...well, wouldnt YOU be?!
ITS A GHOST!! they screamed.
But just then, they heard a voice say, Take courage! Dont be afraid. It is me!
It was Jesus!
Lord, is it really you? Peter said, holding his hand over his eyes to block the spray of the splashing waves.
If it really IS you, tell me to come out to you on the water!
Peter was a brave man! Or he was crazy!
Jesus said, Come.
Peter stuck one leg out over the side of the boat and set his foot on the water. It didnt sink in!
He stepped out with his other foot, and it didnt sink. He stood up. He was standing on the water! He took one step, and then another, and then another. He was walking on the water, just like Jesus!
Peter was walking on the water!
He might have even been thinking to himself, Hey! Look at me. I am walking on the water! Arent I great!
But wait a minute. People cant walk on water. And then Peter started to look around him. All of a sudden, the boat seemed awfully small and far away. There was nothing but black, churning water all around him. The waves were lapping at his feet, water was stinging his eyes.
And then, just like that, the water under his feet let go.
Help me, Lord! Peter gulpped, splashing wildly as the cold water swallowed him down. Save me!
But before the water could gulp Peter down entirely, Jesus reached down with his strong hand (he WAS a carpenter after all) and grabbed him by the arm.
Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?
And with that, Jesus pulled Peter up out of the water and carried him, dripping wet, back to the boat.
Just as they were climbing over the side of the boat, the wind died away and the sea turned smooth as glass. Everything was suddenly peaceful and quiet.
One minute the wind was roaring and the sea was crashing, the next all was peaceful and calm. Some of the disciples must have remembered just then the Psalm they learned in Hebrew school -
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed.
(That was from Psalm 107, in case you havent been to Hebrew school yet.)
Those disciples knew that only God has the power to calm the wind and the waves - and thats just what Jesus did.
Truly you ARE the Son of God! they said to Jesus in awe and wonder. And they bowed down and worshipped him right then and there.