Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt 14:22-33)
No sooner had Peter cried out to Jesus in desperation and terror than Jesus reaches down to save him. Whatever the translation might be – immediately, instantly, at once, at that very moment – Jesus straightaway responds to Peter. He doesn’t hesitate.
He reaches down and grasps Peter’s hand, holding on to His flailing and terror-stricken disciple. Peter, in his utter helplessness and fear, suddenly feels the strong hand of his Lord on him, pulling him out of the churning waves. As Jesus pulls him out of those waves He reproaches him, “…O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Perhaps the greatest hurt we can cause our Lord is to doubt Him, to be fearful and not believe He can, or will, save us. Jesus walks into the storms of our lives, which we encounter from time to time, to rescue us and bring us His peace. But He waits for us to recognize our own fear and helplessness, to turn to Him, to cry out to Him, to trust Him. If we do, His response will always be swift, and sure. He will grasp us, pull us to Himself, and never let us go.