The story of Peter walking on the water was always a favorite when I sat with my young peers around the knee-high table in my Sunday school room. Our teacher gave the basic Bible information, but my imagination brought the story to life. I felt the spray of the stormy, cold waves – heard the howling winds that flapped Peter’s robe like a gale-blown flag – gasped for breath when the murky water began swallowing his ebbing faith and sighed with relief when Jesus’ strong arm lifted him out of the watery hazard. What a miracle, and I envied his experiencing the seemingly impossible.
As my faith matured with my years, I continued to long for the supernatural and the miraculous in my Christian walk. I wanted to be a disciple like Peter and experience life on a higher plane. Now that my walk has taken me into decades, I would like a sit-down with Peter and share how his one-time miraculous walk was indeed amazing, but there’s something to be said for the daily, quiet walk of faith through the ordinary, everyday experiences.
It’s a supernatural work of grace to stand in a sluggish line at Wal-Mart (while late for an appointment) with only two lights gleaming down the corridor of check-out lanes AND keep a patient smile and gentle spirit. When my list of things to do is longer than the time allowed to do them, I invariably end up behind a sightseer driver that motors below the speed limit. He obviously is headed to an uncertain destination at a non-designated arrival time. Peter experienced a miracle, and so do I when I ask forgiveness for the powerful urge to bang my trying offender with a giant, rubber bumper.
When my spouse is sick with a cold and irritability sets up camp in his temperament, it’s a walk-on-water miracle when I respond with gentleness to his atypical behavior. When I pray faithfully for individuals and see no change in their conduct, I realize my wait for a miracle is taking much longer than Peter’s brief experience out of the boat. When a cashier obviously needs an attitude adjustment, Peter’s challenge to walk the waves was no more difficult than my challenge to imitate Christ and return a soft answer instead of responding in like manner.
The supernatural Christian life will always fascinate me as I read and hear of the things that are “done.” However years and experience have gradually taught me that real discipleship is about “being” Christ-like – not in the supernatural but in the ordinary.