One time I was on a road trip with friends from college. We stopped for gas and, eager to stretch our legs after being cooped up in the car, several of us raced to the far corner of the parking lot. I was just reaching full stride, when my friend Gary grabbed me around the waist and pulled me back. A vehicle was gunning its motor and about to hit me. Gary’s strong arms saved my life.
In Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus’ disciples experienced a second storm on the Sea of Galilee but this time Jesus was not asleep in the back of the boat; they had left him back on shore. When the storm arose, the disciples could not ask him for help. Suddenly they saw a figure walking on the water and approaching the boat. Which was more terrifying, the winds threatening to sink the craft or this specter walking on the surface of the waves? Peter called out and said, “If it is really you, Lord, command me to walk on the water too.”
Jesus replied, “Come!”
With no way to avoid losing face, Peter climbed out of the boat. Looking at Jesus, Peter began moving over the surface of the sea. But out the corner of his eye he saw the towering waves. He began to sink and shouted for help. Immediately, Jesus’ hand grabbed the fisherman and hauled him to safety. I love that word “immediately.” It occurs three times in this brief passage. We don’t often think of Jesus rushing about, but there was no delay as he reached out to help his friend. Jesus’ strong arm saved his friend’s life.
John reports the same storm in the sixth chapter of his gospel. Just a few verses later, in John 6:37-9, Jesus says, “All whom that Father has given to me will come to me . . . I will lose none of them, but raise them all up on the last day.” And in 10:28, he adds, “No one can snatch them out of my hand.” For Peter, those words had special significance!
We who trust in Christ are gripped tightly in his hand. He has saved our lives. Praise him because he holds on to us today and will never let go!