walking on water, faith in God

Walking on Water

A cool breeze danced above the sea, sending shivers down the spines of twelve tired men and a few others headed away from the shores. A cloud of dust covered the dry city as it shrunk from their sight. They could still see people dispersing in clusters from the place a phenomenal miracle had just occurred. And darkness was quickly swallowing what was left of the dry, hot day.

“Master, we could just hang around and wait for you” Peter had tried to object when Jesus commanded that they leave the city. He had gauged the weather and knew that the waves would not be friendly. His fisherman instinct preached to him: ‘Jesus’s presence wouldn’t be bad for such weather.

“Go on, cross the sea into Capernaum. I’ll meet you there.” That was all Jesus said to them.

“But Rabbi, the last ship would be sailing in a few minutes. How are you going to join us?” John raised his hand in protest. The last time their Master had told them to leave a place without Him, He’d spent the entire night on the cold mountain, praying.

“Worry about how you’d catch the last ship before it sails.” Jesus replied, reaching for John’s hand and taking it in His. The calmness in Jesus’s touch shoved unsaid responses back into John’s throat. He just stared at the ship as though it was a nightmare he didn’t want to happen.

“Come on, we’ll miss the ship.” Thomas beckoned as he hauled a basket of bread across the sandy shores to catch up with the ship.

Bartholomew and James followed immediately, lifting two other baskets, leaving fish and bread crumbs strewn on the shore.

In a few minutes, everyone boarded, and the ship set sail. They had only gone a few meters away from the shore when the deck began to teem with noise about five loaves feeding 5000 people. A handful of passengers chattered among themselves, clearly stunned by what they had witnessed. “How did 5000 people eat of five loaves?” one man exclaimed. “Never has such ever been done!” Another chipped in. Two men talked about making Jesus a ruler in their community, and a few others tried to make small talks with Peter. Peter had earlier supervised the distribution of the loaves; he would certainly know when such miracles would be performed again.

Another man and his family didn’t stop staring at the baskets of leftover food. They wore dirty, torn clothes, and their children looked malnourished. Judas stole menacing glances at them from time to time, waiting for an opportunity to confront the man. But just before it became too dark to notice the hunger plaguing the family, James crossed to the other side of the ship and gathered leftover bread from one of the baskets.

“You can have some.” He handed the broken loaves to the man.

 “Thank you, sir,” he croaked as he straightened himself to receive the meal.

“Thank you,” his wife and children chorused, relief leaping onto their faces. They didn’t make any other sound as they chowed down the gift to the last crumb.

Peter tried to pray, knowing that their Master would be doing the same, but his eyes failed him. But he was startled out of his sleep at about 2am, when the cool breeze above the sea whirled into a raging tempest that soon troubled the waters. Fearsome waves crashed on the ship, tossing loose luggage from one end of the vessel to the other.

Soon, everyone was wide awake, scampering around the deck for safety.

Everyone but John.

He had taken a comfortable position in a small compartment underneath the deck; and was oblivious of commotion happening on the ship.

In no time, chaos replaced the silent snooze of sleeping passengers as the storm intensified. The skippers paddled faster, trying to outwit the convulsing sea. Judas was going to shake John out of his sleep, but he was stopped by a shrill cry from one of the women.

“There is a ghost in the water!” the woman’s body vibrated, but it wasn’t clear if it was from the chill that now filled the air, the stormy sea, or what she had just seen.

“Woman, we are trying to see how we would keep from perishing in this water and….” Her husband snapped but was interrupted by Matthew’s affirmation.

“There is someone in the water” He cupped his face in his hand, trying to see through the thick darkness.

Everyone soon forgot the rage beneath them and tried to see the person in the water. They soon formed a cluster as they beheld the figure of a man slowly approaching them.

“Is he drowning?” One man whispered, wide-eyed.

“He has no boat; how then is he on the water?” another questioned, shaken with panic.

“No, I think he is…he is walking!” Peter realized, his eyes and mouth wide open in awe.

“He is walking on the water!!” Thomas finished as anguish engulfed him. The men began to press those with the paddles to go faster, and the women and children bawled in horror.

When the figure was only a few feet away from the ship, everyone on the deck paled from intense fear. One of the women concluded it was one of those demons cast out of pigs in Gergesenes. “and it has come to torment us!” She whimpered, her hands spread across her chest.

“Do not be afraid, it is I.” The figure called from afar.

“Master?” Peter squealed. He could feel blood flow back into his face, and fear gave way to relief and peace. But how did Jesus do it? How did He defy nature this way? He could not only speak to the storm: He could walk on water!

“It is I Peter.” Jesus responded.

“Master, if it is you, bid me to come.” A slight reassurance shouldn’t be a problem with Jesus.


Oh, the authority, the warmth, and the peace in that voice made Peter forget that they were on the verge of capsizing. He immediately jumped into the water, sending shrieks out of everyone.

“What are you doing sir?” A man tried to stop him. The waves were overpowering the skippers and the ship. It would surely consume him.

But Peter didn’t think at all. Jesus had bidden him. There was no point in analyzing the instruction. He just had to go. And what a joy it would be to be able to walk on water by the power of God.

Peter’s body was first submerged into the freezing water upon diving out of the ship, and the women’s cry intensified. But then, he slowly floated to the surface and found balance for his feet as though he was on dry land.

Fixing his eyes on Jesus, Peter did what he never imagined he could do. He walked on water, placing one foot in front of the other, just as he would on land! He couldn’t believe it! He even tried to sink a foot to be sure he wasn’t dreaming, but the water seemed to have solidified beneath his feet.

He was barely a few steps away from Jesus when he remembered the storm. Did he forget they were on the verge of capsizing only a few minutes ago? And how are the others on the ship faring? Peter felt he had just awakened from a fancy sleep because the noisy roar of the sea as waves crashed against each other soon drowned his excitement in a sea of anguish. The sound of the paddles flapping against the water haunted him from behind. The distress cry of the passengers in the ship tortured his soul, and his faith failed him.

Terrified, he took his eyes off Jesus and turned to look at the ship. Immediately, the once-solid water underneath his feet began to swallow him up, and he lost his balance. He could feel the cold water gripping his legs and then his waist. He was drowning! And Jesus was no longer in sight!

Had Jesus abandoned him?

“Master, hel..help..” Peter fought the fierce waves bubbling around his face, hoping someone from the ship would be courageous and compassionate enough to save him. But he had ventured too far from the ship, and other passengers, including other disciples, had their own lives to save.

“Peter, your faith baffles me. Why did you doubt?” Jesus took him by the hand, startling him. In a few heartbeats, they were standing on the water again.

“Master…” That was all Peter could say as he leaned on Jesus. The thought of losing his life in the sea left him flustered and drained.

As soon as they got to the ship, the wind ceased, and the sea fell silent. Everyone stared at Jesus, awe evident in their eyes. The women bowed themselves to him, and the men didn’t seem to have control over their dropping jaws.

As though an alarm went off, John also crawled out of his sleeping space the moment Jesus stepped into the ship. He knew nothing of the near-death ordeal everyone had experienced.

He beamed at Jesus, avoiding bread loaves and fish crumbs as he walked across the deck to him. Peter sprawled onto the floor, exhausted from his faith adventure.

“Rabbi” John took Jesus’s hand, smiling like a newborn at his mother’s breasts.

“Peace be unto you.”

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2 thoughts on “Walking on Water”

  1. Adaeze Blessing Anyanegbu

    Beautiful Beautiful storylike narration of a chapter of the bible. I totally enjoyed it! I could feel every emotion in the story!

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