Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” NIV
So, I’m back in the story of Peter walking on the water.
I don’t remember the first time I learned about the concept of surface tension. I might have been in high school. But, as soon as it was mentioned to me that molecules on the surface of a liquid cling more tightly to one another, my mind went racing.
I looked it up this morning on a site called “hyperphysics,” and I am no less amazed by the concept this morning than I was all those years ago: “The cohesive forces between liquid molecules are responsible for the phenomenon known as surface tension. The molecules at the surface do not have other like molecules on all sides of them and consequently they cohere more strongly to those directly associated with them on the surface. This forms a surface “film” which makes it more difficult to move an object through the surface than to move it when it is completely submersed.”
Once I got it, my first thoughts were of the water droplets that form on the hood of your car if you’ve just waxed it. Then, I thought about swimming pools and waves, and then, I thought about the story of Peter.
God created all things. I don’t know if he enabled Jesus and Peter to walk on the surface of that lake by adjusting the surface tension of the water. He could just as easily have done a million other things to achieve the miracle, but, the bottom line is … it was a miracle, and Peter experienced it personally.
I love the passage just before this verse, “Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink.” MSG
Peter is doing something that, to my knowledge, had never been done before or since. He was allowed to defy the laws of physics for a few brief moments, and, as long as he keeps his eyes on Christ, all is fine. When he stops to consider the improbable nature of his circumstance … he fails.
How often is it like that for us?
We are afforded a miracle beyond miracles … money shows up to pay a bill just when we need it, someone calls offering precisely the help we need. We’ve prayed for these things, we’ve asked God to give them to us, just as Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk on water — yet, when we get the things we’ve asked for, we start to worry — we begin to dissecting the blessings, instead of accepting them for the miracles that they surely are.
Why do we do this? Jesus gives that answer … it’s a faith problem.
I want to have the faith that prompts me to accept, rather than to dissect. It is that faith that will afford the peace that passes understanding, and it is borne of trust in the one, true God.
That’s what I’ll think about today.