There once was a man who had been rowing a boat, late at night, for a number of miles. The wind was against him, and no matter how much he strained with his friends, they just could not get that boat to the other side. Their problem lasted them through the wee hours of the morning-- well after 3am, when suddenly, Jesus appeared, walking on the water.
It was Peter who asked if he could come to the Lord-- to literally overcome this problem of the wind that had been plaguing him all night. And Jesus said to him, "Come."
When Peter got out of that boat, he was focused only on Christ. It was his Savior standing there that allowed him to walk above the struggle and confusion of the moment, in perfect peace. I noticed that Jesus didn't calm the wind and waves at this time, but instead, he called Peter to walk on despite the rough waves-- in the midst of the bad circumstances.
Peter started out okay. However, Peter's mind did what my mind does so often. Instead of continuing to focus on Jesus, he started thinking about the overwhelming wind. He was afraid. He became focused on the adversity instead of the anchor of faith. It was at that moment that Peter began to sink.
I think the most important verse in that whole story for me was "the wind was against them." Recognizing this story was about more than water and miracles has helped me tremendously to see the application to my own struggles. I've literally had circumstances "against me" for so long and have complained to God that what seems to come so easily for others is so often an obstructed, long, and burdened path for me. And I admit that I can frequently give my mind over to worry and fear—avoiding God and trying to outlast the pain on my own.
In this story, I see the only way to walk in peace through a storm is to keep my focus on my Creator. I see how one day off track-- neglecting my conversation with him-- can leave me sinking so quickly that I don't even know what hit me. I've been there recently, and I don't want to go back. The wind and waves may be against me, and I may row all night, but there is One to whom the fierce wind is nothing more than a breath. And he is calling me to come.
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
Isaiah 26:3 (English Standard Version)