“Lord, if it’s you,� Peter says, �tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)
Peter is not testing Jesus; he is pleading with Jesus. Stepping onto a stormy sea is not a move of logic; it is a move of desperation.
Faith is not born at the negotiating table where we barter our gifts in exchange for God’s goodness. Faith is not an award given to the most learned. It’s not a prize given to the most disciplined. It’s not a title bequeathed to the most religious.
Faith is a desperate dive out of the sinking boat of human effort and a prayer that God will be there to pull us out of the water. Paul wrote about this kind of faith in the letter to the Ephesians:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Paul is clear. The supreme force in salvation is God’s grace. Not our works. Not our talents. Not our feelings. Not our strength.
Salvation is God’s sudden, calming presence during the stormy seas of our lives. We hear his voice; we take the step.
We, like Paul, are aware of two things: We are great sinners and we need a great Savior.
We, like Peter, are aware of two facts: We are going down and God is standing up. So we scramble out. We leave behind the Titanic of self-righteousness and stand on the solid path of God’s grace.
And, surprisingly, we are able to walk on water. Death is disarmed. Failures are forgivable. Life has real purpose. And God is not only within sight, he is within reach.
From “In the Eye of the Storm”
Copyright 1991, Max Lucado