Lord, Bid Me Come!
I’d like to know what Peter was thinking as he clung to the sides of the boat and stared at the dark form moving toward him on the waves. Was he remembering something Jesus had said or done earlier? Did he experience a sudden rush of faith? Was he scared out of his wits? Whatever it was moved him to call out, “Lord, bid me come!”
Bid me come.
“God, this storm is so strong that I can’t keep my boat on course, but tell me to leave the only security I have and face it head-on.”
“God, the waves are rising higher than my boat, but tell me to get out and walk on them.”
“God, the night is so black and I am more than a little disoriented, but tell me to leave my friends and march into the darkness alone.”
“God, the howling wind is mocking me, but tell me to get up and walk to meet it.”
What in the world was he thinking?
While I don’t know what ran through Peter’s head on that dreadful evening, I have learned that relationships are strengthened during storms. Soldiers sharing a foxhole in battle. Neighbors huddled in a basement riding out a tornado. Teenagers crammed in a dormitory during their first semester in college. Tough times forge unbreakable bonds.
Bad times build good relationships – and strong people. Peter may not have known exactly why he said what he did that stormy night, but his cry to the Lord is a sermon for you and me.
Dark nights provide opportunities to draw closer to Jesus. Resisting contrary winds builds spiritual stamina. Facing storms develops courage. Walking on waves lifts faith. Hearing His voice above the wind says He is near.
So in the storm, ask Him to call you closer. In the process of enduring the hard times, you get all you need – and He gets a disciple He knows He can trust and depend on.
I love the way Edgar Lee Masters says it.
“I have studied many times the marble which was chiseled for me. A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth, it pictures not my destination, but my life. For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid; ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances. Yet all the while, I hungered for meaning in my life. And now I know that we must lift the sail and catch the winds of destiny wherever they drive the boat. To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness, but life without meaning is the torture of restless and vague desire. It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.”
My nephew wanted to live in Seattle. He said God had called him there, but for years his desire was a dream he could never touch. Then, in the middle of a storm (no savings, no job, no house, no supporters), an offer to apply for a job showed up in his inbox. He gave his faith a chance. In a few days, he was walking on water, landing a job he really shouldn’t have qualified for that paid for an apartment in the neighborhood he felt drawn to. He will soon celebrate the first anniversary of their little church meeting each week for worship. They’ve baptized a few, taught Bible studies to several, and are set to influence many. All because he let his faith speak during the storm.
Don’t let fear keep you hunkered down in the boat. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to loose your faith to rise to the challenge. Be bold, even in the storm, and let your faith direct that first step.
It’s the only way you will ever experience the miraculous.