The other day I was reading the account of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14 and I saw a beautiful picture. We hear this passage preached about how Peter got discouraged and began to sink because he took his eyes off of Jesus. I even heard one preacher say it was about losing faith in yourself (this I think is misguided, unlike the aforementioned truth).
I saw a parable, a promise, and a prophesy.
Peter wants to believe that Christ is coming and says, "if it is you, call me to you." Jesus says, "Come." Peter begins walking and gets distracted by the wind and begins sinking.
Jesus catches him.
This to me was a prophesy of the failure of Peter, perhaps all of our failure. Jesus was showing him clearly that he was going to lose faith and get distracted by the conditions around him. That he did when he denied Christ three times.
I saw a promise that as we seek Christ that He is poised for rescue even before we know we are sinking. Jesus was giving Peter a picture to have in his mind later when he failed Christ to a much greater extent. He gave Peter the picture of His extended hand pulling him out of the fear and doubt that would seem to engulf him. After he denied Christ, he could remember his Savior's extended hand. When he later saw the Lord on the shore where he would be offered a chance of redemption, he would jump back into the icy waters he had begun to sink into because he remembered that no matter how he failed in faith, Jesus got him back in that boat. The promise is that if you have the tiny amount of faith to leap from the boat, the Lord will do the work of drawing you to Himself.
I saw a parable. We are going to be rocked in this world. We are going to be wanton of the faith to finish the task. We are going to fail. Jesus has given us a picture of His desire for us to come to Him. He will sustain. As the torrential waves of life seem to engulf us and we sink a beautiful thing will happen. As our body lowers, all of the people looking at us (like the disciples amazed at Peter) will no longer see us.
They will see the Christ.
They will see Him extend His hand.
They will see Him draw us near.
They will see Him get us back to the boat.