Here is today's message based on Matthew 14:22-33

My wife and I recently saw the movie ‘Dunkirk’.
Its about the amazing rescue of close to 350,000 Allied troops early on in World War II.
British, French and Belgium troops were trapped on the northern coast of France.
At Dunkirk, they huddled on the beaches, waiting and hoping and praying for rescue.

The Nazi’s were closing in on them and constant plane attacks loomed overhead.
Eventually, the British fleet along with citizen boats crossed the waters to Dunkirk.
A flotilla of merchant marine, fishing rigs, commercial vessels, yachts and life boats crossed the waters of the English Channel to help rescue the stranded soldiers.
Not all lived, but most did so that the British army could go on and eventually prevail.

Before the rescue, you could feel the anxiety, frustration and fear the men experienced.
They were in a helpless situation and feeling trapped and maybe abandoned.
When all those boats from local towns in England appeared on the water, the feeling changed and everyone in the theatre felt a sense of relief, just as those men did.

I love movies or books that are real life, true stories, especially when crisis is involved.
What I don’t like so much is when real life crisis happen in my own life.
Times when we have our own Dunkirk experiences at various points in our lives.
And we’ve all have had them,….now have them,….. or will have them.
Times when we feel trapped, abandoned, and helpless to get ourselves out of a mess.

Today we heard yet another famous story of the many miracles of Jesus.
The disciples were in a boat, in a stormy sea a long way from the safety of shore.
Jesus had gone off to finally have time alone to pray and find some quiet peace.
And yet, he leaves that to come to them across the water to save them.

As Peter sees him coming he offers to go greet him, but his faith waivers as he does.
When Peter tries to walk on water and starts to sink, he calls for Jesus to save him.
And, of course, Jesus does, but he had already rescued them when he came to them.
They first thought Jesus a ghost, then felt relief, then questioned, then again trusted. 
Peter, or course, represents all of the disciples but he also represents you and me.

The wind in our life is often contrary and we find ourselves up against it.
It may be when we’re stranded in a job situation that’s terrible.
It may be when a very difficult financial situation or calamity looms over us.
It may be when a relationship with someone close to us is headed for defeat.
It may be when our health falters or deteriorates.
It may be when a friend or loved one dies, or when we face that peril ourselves.

There are times when the storms of life threaten us and we struggle in fear.
When our temptations, or sorrows or bad decisions put us in peril.
Yet Jesus will come to us to stretch out his hand to save us.
No matter what time of day or night, no matter what the circumstances.

How does Jesus come to us?   What does God coming to rescue us look like?
I’d say there are three ways in which God comes to rescue us in times of trouble.

First, God comes to us in miracles, like Jesus walking on the water.
It could be something you’d never believed was possible, but it happens.
When things are so bleak you think nothing can save you, but they turn out right.
Miracles, though rare, do happen.

Secondly, God comes to us in the word, that is scripture;… the bible.
The more you delve into it or keep it as a useful tool regularly employed,….
the more you will find that God comes to you through His word with help.
But just like the disciples looked for Jesus coming, we have to look for that word.

And, last but not least, God comes to us like God came to all humanity- as a person.
Jesus comes to us to rescue us more often than not, through other people in our lives.
People who we may know and be close to,…and people who are not so familiar.
Just as Jesus reached out to grab Peter’s hand, they touch us and touch our lives.

With a friendly compliment when we need to feel better about ourselves.
With an act of kindness when it seems that the world and everyone is being unkind.
With a word of advice to help guide and set our course back on the right path.
And maybe best of all, a word of love or understanding that shows they care.

So for example, one o the worst times we have is when a loved one dies.
God comes to us often in those times in the form of others.
Others who cheer us up or make us laugh amidst our tears and sorrow.
Others who, when we grieve, send a card, flowers, or supper for the family.
A word of advice, best given by others who have been through the same storm.
Other people who give words of love and sympathy that sooth our sorrows.

And God comes to us and reaches out to rescue us even when our faith waivers.
Just as Peter’s faith faltered, so does ours at times.
And yet, Jesus did not abandon Peter just because Peter, in his fear, doubted
Jesus’ saving them didn’t rely on the disciples faith to always be strong.
That, then, holds true for us.

So, just as In the disciples’ hour of need, God’s love for them came to rescue them through Jesus Christ,……
so will God,….. and so has God,…. done for us.
For the disciples it was about 4 or 5 in the morning when they were on the stormy sea.
So too for us, it doesn’t matter what hour of the day or night it is 
We just have to do as they did and look beyond the boats of our lives to see him there.