Seems a very long time ago I painted this one for friends at the time, but it came to mind when I was doing this blog, so I thought you might like to see it!
A small vase with a few bright purple dried flowers/a colourful teapot/a masterly piece of woodturning of the Cross/four small stones/a few drying bean seeds/a small vase with Roger's buttonhole from last Saturday's special wedding. No, this isn't one of those remembering games - it's a snapshot of our kitchen window sill right now! OK. Not very tidy I must admit, but an honest snapshot all the same!
If cameras were around in Jesus' day perhaps one photo His disciple Peter wouldn't have wanted was of him floundering in the waters of Lake Galilee, crying out for help. How did a skilled fisherman like Peter end up in the water? Jesus' disciple Matthew explains:
Jesus had just fed 5000 people and sent His disciples on ahead in the boat to the other side of the lake. Meantime, Jesus went alone up the mountain to pray well into the night.
'Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them (the disciples) and they were battered by the waves. At about 4.00 in the morning, Jesus came towards them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. 'A ghost!' they said, crying 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 to me to come to you on the water.'
Jesus 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 began 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, worshipped Jesus, saying, 'This is it! You are God's Son for sure!' (Matthew 14:23-33 The Message)
Trust Peter to give walking on water a go! Interestingly, he didn't get out of the boat until he'd heard Jesus call him to do it. He had such an impulsive character that I'd have thought he would have jumped out straight away, but he didn't. Perhaps as a disciple he was beginning to learn that when Jesus commands - It Is. So he would have concluded that if Jesus commanded him to walk on the water - he would! Simple!
So he got out of the boat.
And began to walk on the water towards Jesus.
I wonder what the other disciples thought at that moment? Unfortunately, nothing is said. In fact, reading the story you can easily skip over those few words without properly letting them sink in. Just for a very short moment Peter really did walk on water. What a great snapshot that would have made! Peter must have focused on Jesus as he walked. Imagine how he felt.......
But then, perhaps he was suddenly distracted by the storm surrounding them all and earthly reality kicked in. He began to sink into the water and feared being drowned. Thankfully, Jesus was watching His disciple carefully and was ready to quickly grab him and return him to the boat. Jesus' words 'Faint-heart (Greek literal 'Little-faith') what got into you?' must have resounded in his head. Yet just for a moment he was focused on Jesus and really did walk on water.
Emotional somersault time for Peter.
Perhaps you're reading this right now and are identifying with Peter. Not that long ago you had tasted success, now it's gone. The 'Why?' questions crowd into your head. Perhaps you feel you're drowning, not in physical water, but in circumstances, chaos and uncertainty. Follow Peter's example - look up and cry out to Jesus for help. Remember Jesus' words, 'Courage. It's me. Don't be afraid.' Watch his hand shoot into your 'deep water' to grab you quickly.