I have this thing for Peter. At least, pre-Resurrection Peter. The one that wobbles between faith and fear. The one that has so much heart, but not enough courage. The guy with the fiercest convictions and the best of intentions, but also the guy that has yet to really die to himself and learn what it means to be for Christ.
I feel like we would get each other. In all our passion and piety, mixed up with confusion and cowardice... in our under-developed, yet-to-be-transformed selves... we'd probably get along pretty well.
So when Jesus interacts with Peter, I like to pay special attention. I constantly need the reminder that Jesus loved and chose Peter because of many things, but also in spite of many things. I love to to remember that they were friends.
And that one night, when wind howled and the water slapped angrily against their little fishing boat and they were so far from land... I know Peter was afraid. I would have been afraid. And when they saw Jesus walking out towards them and thought he was a ghost, I know Peter was terrified. I would have been absolutely terrified. And when Jesus speaks quickly and says, "Don't worry, friends. It's just me," I think Peter felt a nervous, hesitating anxiety to trust. He wasn't ready to just believe and relax- not yet.
"If it's really you, command me to come to you on the water!" He says.
And who knows if Jesus smirked, but I bet he did, at least a little. And he says, "Okay, Peter. Come."
And Peter does. Like a boss. I can't help but be a little proud that sometimes Peter-types have a shocking amount of availability, willingness, and "can-do" attitude.
Peter crawls out of the fishing boat in the middle of the night and sets his feet down on dark, spinning waters and there's this moment... this moment where if it's a ghost, he's going to sink and die, but if it's Jesus, he's going to stand and walk.
And he finds that his footing is firm on the water and he stands. Which means it is indeed Jesus out there and there is, in fact, no reason to fear.
But, of course, we know what happens next: The bravery-battle in Peter's heart continues to rage and the wind and the waves speak louder in that moment than Christ's comfort and he gets scared. He sinks. Or at least, he begins to sink but Jesus yanks him back up and walks him (on the water) back to the boat.
Peter was far from ready to be doing Jesus-miracles. He was even further from deserving to be a part of that kind of glory. But he had this crazy mixture of fear and neediness and desperation combined with a almost-wild willingness to ask and act.
I feel like I'm there, in that place. Where I want so much from Jesus, but am I prepared? Am I worthy? Am I willing?
I desire miracles, I crave them. I want to live closer to Glory. I am desperate for signs to know for sure that Jesus is the shape I see and the voice I hear. And I wonder if Jesus is standing on the waters just outside the boat, smirking, daring me to ask. Because if I want to see Jesus prove himself in my life, then whatever I ask, it's got to be bigger than me. If it's the super-natural that I want, then I've got to move beyond the natural.
"Lord, if it is you, command me to do the impossible."
Jesus invited Peter into the Super-natural, the Impossible, the Miraculous.
Peter wasn't ready for or worthy of the Glory, but he was willing to ask for it. And Jesus was willing to let him in. Because Peter asked for it, Jesus invited Peter to be like Jesus, to join him in the crazy miracle he was doing.
Living on the edge of Glory sounds beautiful and brutal and frightening and amazing. And I think it's all of those things, but I don't really know for sure because I've only dipped my toes in the water. But I keep hearing that whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for the sake of Jesus will find it.
So I can find my footing in the bottom of the boat, I can seek that and I will find that, but I will miss out on the Glorious. Or I can find my footing on the surface of the wild waters - "Jesus, command me to do the impossible"- and be amazed that I can stand, terrifically alive and doing Impossible Things with Jesus.
Linking up with SheLovesMagazine.com for their July theme: Stand. Have you checked out SheLoves yet? Its amazing, and I basically have blog-crushes on all the authors.