It was pitch black. The storm clouds swallowed any moonlight there might have been. The wind was vicious. There wasn't much you could do but just hang on. There was almost no chance of controlling the boat. The will of the waves was reigning.
There was a level of desperation in the voice that hepled it pierce the thundering sound of a violent sea. "Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water." And the voice of peace replied, "Come."
What in the world was Peter thinking to request such a thing? I can come up with much better questions. "Lord, if it's you, stop the storm!" "Lord, if it's you, get in the boat with us!" But the sensible response was never heard. Instead, an insane request passes Peter's lips: "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water!?"
Peter never seemed to me to be the sharpest tool in the shed. From one perspective, this incident reinforces that opinion, but another perspective has been unfolding in my heart. It is so natural in the time of crisis to seek God's intervention. Why didn't Peter do so? His request is not for intervention. He seems to be asking Jesus to take him from the frying pan to the fire! "Remove me from the relative safety of the boat and put me in an environment in which I have less control than I do right now." How much sense can that make?
Today God rephrased Peter's question for me. "Jesus, in this time of danger I want to be where you are but I can't get there. Will you help me? Lord, if it's you, tell me to come."
Where did this question come from? What possessed him in a time of crisis, a time of imminent danger, that he was willing to attempt the humanly impossible to get to Jesus? The question is not "Jesus come join us!" That seems the logical request seeing as Jesus was already walking on the water. No. Peter's desire was to get to Jesus, and Jesus' response was, "Come."
The question can be stated in other ways. Jesus, empower me to do something I can only do with your help. Jesus, I want to be like you but I can't without your help. Jesus, I want to do what you can do, but it's beyond my ability. Will you help me? Jesus' response? Come.
I'm not sure, in my stormy seasons, I have been asking the right questions or praying the right prayers.