Meditations by John Dean

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Hand of the Lord

(Matthew 14:27-30 KJV) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

This is one of the most up-to-date stories in the Bible because it is much more than just a story about Peter’s impetuousness. This story paints a picture of each of our lives as we risk moving out of our comfort zone (the boat) into our potential.

In the case of Peter, it appeared that he failed when he began to sink into the water. However, that was not the case at all. The scripture did not say that he sank…it only said that he began to sink before he cried out to Jesus. That means the lesson that Peter learned was not found in his sinking, but in his crying out to Jesus.

Peter passed his test by risking all to go to Jesus in the first place. This is what each of us must do, even when it appears that troubled waters are separating us from Jesus. It is a fearful thing to step out of our comfort zone. That is why we need the “Peter type” of faith. The fact is, without Jesus there is no comfort zone.

As each of us reflects over our lives, I believe we will soon discover that the hand of Jesus has appeared to us in many different ways.

One of the ways I remember the hand of Jesus reaching out and saving me was when I was a young man in the Air Force. I was stationed in Pennsylvania and I was invited to go ice skating with some friends. Being a kid from East Texas, ice skating was as foreign to me as flying backwards…never the less I was willing to give it a try.

Three of us guys from the base took our girlfriends out to a large lake and started skating by the moonlight. I am not sure why, but when everybody else went one direction on the lake I decided to go the other direction. However, soon after going in the opposite direction the ice broke and I fell in the lake.

I started hollering for help, but by this time I was so far away from the others that they  could not hear me. I kept struggling to get on top of the ice, but all I was able to do was to break more ice. All of a sudden there appeared a large tree stump right beside I climbed on top of it and jumped belly first on the ice and slid across it until I was able to stand up.

When I was able to get on my feet I skated down to the other end of the lake and told everyone what had happened. They rushed me to the home of one of the girls, set me by the fire and took care of me until they knew I was okay.

The interesting thing is…no one in the family was able to remember the mysterious stump that appeared to me that night in the lake.

Looking back at my ice skating experience I now know that the hand that reached out to save me that night was the same hand that reached out to save Peter. I also know that many other times in my life when I was sinking, it was His hand that was always there to save me. Thank you my Father.

Thank You for using this wonderful story of Peter to teach us how to reach out to You…or should I say how You reach out to us. Father, I also want to thank You  for teaching us that each time we risk stepping out of our ‘comfort zone’ (our boat) and we feel we are sinking...You are already out there waiting for us.

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