What kind of hands did our Lord Jesus have? Thirty years a carpenter. He had thirty years of hard manual labor working with his hands, sawing wood, pounding nails, sanding lumber and planing doors. This man is 97. He spent his entire life working as a brick layer and a carpenter. He was known as the hardest worker around. In his words, "I never cheated nobody." Now his kidneys are failing and the day is soon coming when he will rest from his labors. Yet, when he shakes your hand, the firm grip is still there. Not too hard but solid, strong, a real firm handshake. Peter was drowning. The wind and the waves were pulling him under. Life has a way of doing that to us. Just when we think we can do it all on our own, we find ourselves slipping under. Terrified, swallowing water, flailing about. Then Peter felt a hand, a firm strong hand, holding him fast. He looked up. It was the master. Child of God, if the wind and the waves are overwhelming you this day, know the firm strong hand of the master holds you fast, and will never let you go.
Lord Jesus, be there for me today. Like Peter, I am sinking, terrified, flailing about. With the little faith I have left, I desperately reach out to you. In the midst of my terror hold me fast with your firm strong grip. Amen.
Matthew 14:22-33 (NRSV)
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.
26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."
28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."