By J.R. Miller
Those who was one of the strangest nights of our Lord's life. In the evening He sent the disciples out upon the sea alone. Then He went up into the mountain and spent the night with His Father. A storm came on, and the little boat was wildly tossed in the waves. From His place of prayer, Jesus kept His eye on His disciples. He saw them distressed in rowing, and around three in the morning, He came to them walking on the water.
Then it was that Peter called to Jesus, "Bid me to come unto You upon the waters." It was just like Peter, loving and eager--but impetuous and rash. Still, the Master said "Come!" and instantly the disciple stepped out from the boat. While he kept his eye on his Master, he walked on the water as if it were a solid pavement. But for a moment he saw the waves, and at once began to sink.
In his despair he cried, "Lord, save me!" and immediately Jesus reached out His hand and lifted him out of the waters. But while He was rescuing him, He said, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" The words show that Peter need not have sunk into the sea. He could have continued to walk on the water as he began. Jesus had bidden him to come, and the bidding implied ability to do it.
Nothing is impossible to faith. A good man said, "Doing what can't be done--is the glory of Christian living." Anybody can do the things that can be done--but it is the privilege of the Christian--to do what cannot be done. It was a prayer of Augustine's, "Command what You will--then give what You command." It is only the littleness of our faith that causes our achieving to fall below what our Master expects of us.
Though Peter's peril was caused by his own fear, the Master did not disregard his cry. He is patient with our failures, pitiful with our weaknesses, and His love never wearies in delivering us. But why should our faith be so small? The Strong One is ever beside us. When we are doing what He has bidden us to do, when we are in a place to which He has sent us--we need never fear nor falter; we cannot fail but through the failure of our own faith.