The beauty of our spiritual formation into the likeness of Jesus Christ involves reflection on the lived experience, inclusive of all the struggle, conflict and resistance that confront us. Our learning attitude opens us to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens us with the word of God. The bumpy experience of Peter and other disciples teach us what pursuing God from the ground might look like.

Their tried and tested fishing boat was being punched about in the stormy Sea of Galilee. Unexpectedly, out of the darkness emerged a ghostly figure who was walking on the water toward them. The turbulent sea, a tossing boat and a ghost-like character swelled the fear of the scared disciples (Matt 14:22-23). But then the figure called out to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Still not convinced, Simon Peter shouted out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus invited Peter to come to him. Peter climbed out of the boat and miraculously began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But Peter, feeling the wind and seeing the rising waves, became afraid and started to sink into the cold, dark water. “Lord, save me!” Peter cried out, and Jesus reached out and caught his hand. Next thing he knew, was they were both in the boat, and the wind had died down.

The disciples were amazed by the event. The Gospel of Matthew says, “Those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (v. 33). Peter and the other disciples had come face to face with Jesus as the One who saves and transforms. They recognised something extraordinary about Jesus that remained etched in their memory: Trusting Christ yields joyful empowerment. Pursue God from the lived experiences on the ground.

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