Dear God, Oh God,
How dare I to write to you, You who walked on water? I read this morning in the book of Daniel how you walked in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I read them in Psalms how you walk on the wings of the wind.You said in Job that you have entered the springs of the sea and walked in the recesses of the deep (not only on water, but in it and under it.) But you have also called me your child and I have a question or two. I have many questions, as children often do. You have called me friend and I cannot even fathom that. You have called yourself my brother. How can that be? But back to my original question. Why did you walk on water?
I know that you created all things, including water, fire, and wind. When you spoke to Job you told him that you measured the sky with a span and you weighed the ocean in the hollow of your hand––a scar-free hand then. You know what they consist of, how they function and how to use them. You know their properties and how to control them.
You wrapped the earth in clouds like a baby in a blanket. You watched the ocean gush into being. You set boundaries and divided light; and set the stars in their courses. Why am I so amazed that you could walk through the fire and on the water? Yet, I am amazed.
I can understand the reason you came and walked with the three Israelites. They were being punished because they wouldn’t worship a statue made by King Nebuchadnezzar. They said before they were threatened with the fire, “Our God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and he will deliver us from your hand. But know this, even if he does not, we will not worship your gods or bow to your golden idol.”
Now, this made the king so angry he demanded the furnace be super-heated, the three men to be tied up with ropes, and strong soldiers to heave them into the furnace. When they did, the flames killed them almost instantly, the soldiers, that is. The rope burned off the three men and the King watching saw four men walking freely about in the fire, but not burning. That extra was you!
This astounded the king who asked how many did you throw in? “We threw three,” they answer. “But I see four walking around loose in the fire unharmed, and one looks like the son of God.” The king called the men to come out and they did not even have the smell of fire on their clothes and no hair on their heads was singed.
Such an amazing story and I love every part of it. Their courage, their strength of faith. Your allowing the whole thing to be carried through so they were thrown into the fire and then you walked them out, saved them. The martyr doesn’t die, can’t die, just meets you and walks on.
You walked across water during a storm, not to show off, but to save your friends from the perilous sea. Peter asked when he saw you if you would allow him to walk to you. He walked too and I wonder because this is not a case of threat and punishment for faith. It seemed almost just for fun. Why did you do it? Were you building faith in Peter or trying to show him something?
I think it must be that you were showing him your power so that when the Roman soldiers came and took you and nailed you to the cross, Peter would know it was not something you couldn’t have saved yourself from? That it was a death you resigned yourself to accept. If a man can walk on water and stroll around in a fire, he must be able to save himself from a cross and a mob. You gave your life freely.
O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty, who wraps yourself in light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens, who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:1-3
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