Rodeo again? you ask. Absolutely. How can I resist the irony of a bull rider landing face first in the arena dirt as an announcer yells, “Where you look is where you go!”
Following your eyes is a pile-driving concept well known to those who wrap their courage, rope and legs around a bucking Brahma crossbred for eight seconds.
But a first century fisherman knew it too.
As one who rode the waves of the Middle East Sea of Galilee, Peter was likely the equivalent of a modern rodeo cowboy. He met life head on, wore blisters on his hands and creases into his face. And then he met the Tempest Tamer.
While drifting on a familiar but stormy sea, Peter watched that man walk across the water toward his boat. “If it’s really you, call me to you,” he yelled at what his companions believed to be an apparition.
Peter climbed over the edge, locked his eyes on the one who called, and stepped onto the water. No one else had the courage to even try it, much less get out of the boat. Imagine defying the laws of nature and walking on the roiling, dark sea known so well to those whose living was found beneath it.
And then Peter looked away.
He looked away from the one who called him and gazed into the crashing waves. Fear sucked him down into what he beheld, and but for the outstretched hand of the Water Walker, Peter would have drowned in that fear.
Can we relate to that? We who neither ride bulls nor fish for a living? Might we know what it feels like to glance toward our fear and fall into the choking waves of loneliness, abandonment, or depression?
The Water Walker still walks today. He who tamed the tempest calms the storms of our heart. “Come to me, all you who are weary,” he says. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Set your heart on Him. Lock your eyes and your hopes on Jesus. He will lift you with his outstretched hands, and never let you down.
Think about it: Did Jesus carry Peter back to the boat, or did they walk back together?