“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
In the middle of the storm, he himself standing on the waves, Jesus looks to the disciples as they huddled in the middle of the boat in fear. He encourages them not to be afraid because it is him. Peter, probably shivering from fear and soaked to the bone, calls out to his Rabbi, “if it is you, let me walk out on the waves to you”. In the middle of the chaos of the storm, he wanted so badly to be near Jesus, that his first thought was “let me walk out to you on the waves in the middle of this storm”. He takes the steps out onto the water, and for a moment in faith and time, a mortal man is walking on water with Jesus.
This painting captures that first moment out of the boat for Peter. The waves, chaotic and wild, splashing over the side of the boat, are somehow supporting him as he ventures out towards Jesus. The boat, representative of the safety and security of what Peter knew and was comfortable with, lies in the background. Peter still has one hand on the boat, taking advantage of that last moment of reassurance as he tests the waters and takes his first steps; his eyes are fixed on his Lord.
I love the way that Chris has pictured Peter in this painting. He is technically out of the boat, but still clinging for that brief moment to what he knew. So often, in the midst of life’s storms, we can be like Peter. We fix our eyes on Jesus, hear his voice bid us to come to him, take the step out onto the crashing waves, and leave that one hand holding onto the boat, just in case. We cling to what we think we know as safe and secure because we refuse to take a few steps in faith towards the ultimate source of all peace and comfort. We let the chaos and spray of the storm keep us too close to the boat.
The command the Jesus gave was simple, “don’t be afraid” and “come”. That’s all Jesus asks of us. No matter how tough life can be, how hard the wind howls, and how high the waves crash. He simply says for us not to fear because he’s there. Once we’ve relinquished the fear, we can act with boldness and authority. We, like Peter, can step out into life’s storms and walk towards our Lord and Savior, knowing that he is there with us in the middle of all of the wind, rain, and noise.
May we all have the courage to seek God’s presence and hear his voice in the midst of life’s struggles, like Peter did.
Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.