Jesus had sent the disciples out in the boat with instructions to go to the other side of the water. After the disciples had rowed out far into the water, the wind picked up and the boat began to toss in the waves. Already undoubtedly stressed and fearful of the storm, the disciples grew terrified when they looked up and saw Jesus walking on the water toward them. As Jesus reassured them that He wasn’t a ghost, Peter stepped out onto the water and walked toward Jesus. And for the short time he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter defied gravity and walked on the water. But the minute he focused his attention on the powerful wind, his fear returned, and he began to sink.
Our pastor stepped to the edge of the stage and smiled as he told what happened next. Peter cried out for Jesus to save him, and Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught Peter. As our pastor reached his arm over the stage toward an imaginary Peter, little ThingOne gasped and loudly exclaimed, “That was so nice of Jesus!”
Of course, everyone around us in church chuckled at my daughter’s lively response. It was cute. She was adorable in her innocence and wonder. And all these years later, I still vividly remember this — not only because little ThingOne was so stinkin cute, but because of the truth that struck my heart that day.
• I want to read the Bible with fresh, innocent wonder. I want to gasp in delight as I notice the obvious. Because sometimes I can be so serious, looking for some deep spiritual truth that I miss the obvious. It was really nice of Jesus to rescue Peter!
• When we lose faith and falter, taking our eyes off Jesus, He might point out our lack of faith and ask us why we doubted Him; but He doesn’t get angry and abandon us to drown in our own faithlessness. He kindly reaches out and rescues us.
• When we row smack into the middle of a big ol’ windstorm and we’re scared half to death at the waves thrashing us around, Jesus arrives like a gravity-defying Super Hero to save us. He might show up in an unexpected way, initially scaring the bejeebies out of us. But He comes to us and He brings peace to our boat.
• Jesus is nice. He reaches out, reaches down, to pull us up. When we start to fall, Jesus wants to catch us.
If your boat is thrashing and bobbing in the middle of the storm, if strong waves are buffeting you, if you’re wondering why God would instruct you to row straight into a severe wind advisory — look up and see Nice Jesus, step out in faith and walk to Him, and grab His hand when He reaches out to rescue you.