Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peter, Faith, and Grace

Ah, Peter. His life, like of all Bible heroes’, was very dramatic. A fisherman who was called by Jesus to be “fishers of man” instead. An “act now, ask questions later”-type of guy. A tendency to do much “talking” but not much “walking” in his early years – kind of like most of us.
Of course, Peter was imperfect. All God’s chosen heroes are. But God showed Peter (like the other heroes) grace and made him great. (How great is our God! He picks up the losers and put them on the winning team… His team!) That’s one of the lessons we could learn in the story of Peter. But this is a lesson we could also learn from the stories of the other Bible heroes. What about a lesson exclusively unique in Peter’s?
Okay... here is one of my Bible stories favorites. And if you can still remember your Sunday school lessons, you are probably familiar with it.
This was the dramatic story of the disciples having a lot (a lot!) of trouble at sea due to a terrible storm that, without warning, suddenly hit. The wind was so strong and the waves were big that the ship of the disciples was in great threat of being destroyed. They were all in terror. Then they saw a figure walking on water towards them. A ghost! So they thought. But it was really Jesus and he reassured them that it was he and not a ghost.
Then comes the climax of the story. Peter said, “Lord! If it really is you, tell me to come to you!” Jesus Christ replied, “Come!” And Peter did. He was very courageous at that point... Or very foolish, the disciples might be thinking. What if the man on the water was not really Jesus? But fortunately it was indeed Jesus. Peter jumped from the boat and started walking towards Jesus Christ… on water!
But later on, he got scared of the big waves that he lost his faith and started to sink. He cried, “Lord! Save me!” Jesus replied, “O Peter, why did you doubt?” Jesus rescued Peter, and they both reached the boat as the wind died and the sea calmed.
If you can’t see the beauty of the story – and the deep epicness in it – maybe you should read again the full story in the Bible.
The lesson was faith. In our lives, there will be bad storms and big waves – problems, temptations, etc. – that we will face. The waves and storms would knock us down or terrify us. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus, put our faith on him fully, like Peter did, we would walk on water, too! Because if we focus on him and walk towards his direction, surely, even if there will be waves and storms, he would make us walk through them. The waves and the storms are too big for us to face alone. We can only beat them, do the impossible through Jesus.
But that’s not the end of it. The most beautiful part is to come. In case we start to doubt, and be afraid, and feel that we are sinking, like Peter, we should call, “Lord! Save me!” And Jesus will. Our faith is imperfect. Like Peter, we often sink of doubt because of the big waves of life. But Jesus is perfect and gracious. He will pick us up, lead us back to the boat, and calm the storm and the waves. That is grace.
Our own “faith” is feeble. True faith exclusively comes from Him alone. His grace made it all possible.
In God, I will walk on water. Amazing grace.

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