Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I Was Peter

A thunder roared down to us. That night, the sky ran vastly dark and ugly. Our sailing ship was continuously shoved by the wrath of huge waves. We tried to unload by throwing baggage and buckets of water to the sea, but the sky endlessly pressed us with heavy rain.

I couldn't see clearly what was beyond us. My face and the rest of me was dripping wet. I shivered at the strong blows of the wind. I was afraid . . . afraid of drowning, of getting hit by lightning. I was afraid of death. I thought that if only Jesus chose to sail with us, He could have been there to save us.

The storm seemed unending and so was our struggle. The thunder roared again, even louder than before. A big wave pushed us hard on one side that we thought we'd sink. We screamed and braced ourselves. Surprisingly, another wave pushed us back and against, balancing the ship yet filling it more with water. I was fumbling for a bucket when from afar, I saw a figure of a man clad in white.

He was walking above the deep waters as if He was just walking on a solid ground.

One of us saw him too and shouted, "A ghost!"

The man, poised with calmness, turned to us and walked towards us. I looked around me, searching for a way to escape. I suddenly forgot about the waves and storm. All I thought about was how I could run away from this ghost. 

I swallowed hard, knowing there was no way out. The man went closer. He got approximately 2 yards near us when He stopped. I recognized who He was. 

Jesus. Jesus was walking on water. 

I held my gaze at Him, agape and almost not blinking. Despite the storm, His face remained as calm as ever. Suddenly, I felt like everything was fine. I thought He had left us to the lurch, but he was there. I teared up a bit out of joy, of gratefulness . . . and guilt. Slowly, He extended His arm to me as if inviting me to come to Him. His eyes told me that I could do it; that I'd be safe, that He'd be there for me and won't let me die from drowning or be electrified by lightning. His eyes told me to trust in Him.

It wasn't long before I saw myself getting out of the ship, dangling my feet at its edge. I looked at the sea water and wondered how deep it could be. I thought how impossible it was to stand and walk upon it. But then I looked back at Jesus. Without words, with just an arm extending to me, He assured me that it was possible.

I believed in Him and let my feet touch the sea water. It was a bit cold. I held my stare on Jesus. I believed in my rabbi. I believed in His power. I saw with my own eyes how he healed the sick and paralyzed; how the evil left the possessed man in His command; and how he brought the child and Lazarus back to life. Finally, I freed my hold on the edge of the ship. I smiled. Indeed, I had stood on water.

I made a step toward Jesus. I outstretched an arm to Him.

Yes, as long as You're there my Lord, I could walk on water. Let me come near You. 

I moved two more steps forward and saw a smile on Jesus' face.

Of course, it is possible! I knew You were right.

As I took another step, my eyes moved from Jesus to a huge wave which seemed to be coming to me. Quickly, I erased the peace that once embraced me and allowed fear to reign.

I gasped as the water underneath my feet went loose. I sank. I flapped and lifted my hands in panic, but the sea pulled me as strong and as deep as the fear I felt.

I'm gonna die, I thought. I had let fear kill me. Not the sea, not the lightning, not by a man. I drowned myself in fear with Jesus near me. Jesus knew I deserved death.

It wasn't until a hand pulled me up that I realized that He won't let me.

I looked at Him, ashamed. His beautiful face was filled with sadness. I saw His lips parting. And I heard Him. I heard Jesus uttering,

"Where is your faith?"