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p. 124-126 -
'Come on,' Jesus invited.
So Peter climbed over the side and stepped onto the sea. Before him opened a trail through a forest of waves. He stepped quickly. Water splashed. But he kept going. This path to Jesus was a ribbon of calm. It was peaceful. Serene.
Jesus radiated light at the end of the trail. Smiling.
Peter stepped toward the light like it was his only hope. He was halfway there when we all heard the thunder. It boomed, and he stopped. I saw his head turn. He looked up at the sky. He looked up at the clouds. He felt the wind. And down he went.
Boy did he yell!
A hand came through the water sheets and grabbed Peter. Lightning flashed again, and I could see the face of Jesus. I noticed that his smile was gone. Hurt covered his face. It was like he couldn't believe that we couldn't believe. Danger to us was just a detour to him. I wanted to ask him, 'Aren't you afraid, Jesus? Aren't you afraid?'
But I said nothing. Before I knew it, he was in the boat with us.
The sea stilled as silk.
The winds hushed.
A canyon opened in the clouds; soft moonlight fell over the water.
It happened instantaneously. It didn't take the rest of the night. It didn't take an hour. It didn't take a minute. It happened in a blink.
From chaos to calm. From panic to peace. The sky was so suddenly silent that I could hear my heart pounding. I thought I was dreaming. The I saw the wide eyes of the others and felt my clothing soaked against my skin. This was no dream. I looked at the water. I looked at Peter. I looked at the others. And then I looked at him.
And I did the only thing I could have done. With the stars as my candles and the stilled boat as my altar. I fell at his feet and worshipped."
*Side note: Peter had to "take courage" and step out on faith, step out of his comfort zone, and step into the unknown.
"I saw God. It took a storm for me to see him. But I saw him. And I'll never be the same."
p. 127 - "After the storm, [the disciples] worshipped him. They had never, as a group, done that before." (Matthew 14:33)
p. 128 - "When you recognize God as Creator, you will admire him. When you recognize his wisdom, you will learn from him. When you discover his strength, you will rely on him. But only when he saves you will you worship him."
p. 129 - "A season of suffering is a small price to pay for a clear view of God."
p. 136 -
"At the beginning of every act of faith, there is often a seed of fear."
"Faith begins when you see God on the mountain and you are in the valley and you know that you're too weak to make the climb. You see what you need...you see what you have...and what you have isn't enough to accomplish anything."
p. 148 -
"Perhaps the most amazing response to God's gift is our reluctance to accept it. We want it. But on our terms."
p. 163 - "When we choose to be baptized, by lifestyle as much as by symbol, into Christ, the same shielding occurs. Our sins and faults are lost beneath the sheer radiance of his covering. 'For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God' (Colossians 3:3). Please don't miss the impact of this verse. When God sees us, he also sees Christ. He sees perfection! Not perfection earned by us, mind you, but perfections paid for by him."