Pilot Boats

Peggy Byland

Read: Matthew 14:22-33

And when they [Peter and Jesus] got into the boat, the wind ceased. (v. 32)

At the end of the journey from Lake Superior to Lake Huron, there is a changing of the crew. The freighters now enter international waters. Those licensed to crew the journey only thus far must debark the ship.

How does a person leave a moving freighter? A small well-equipped pilot boat, much like a tug boat, sidles up to the side of the freighter and a rope ladder is extended over the freighter’s edge, stopping meters above the water. Holding tightly to the ladder, the person coming ashore climbs down safely into the boat.

There are times in life when we would choose to exit safely over the side of the boat. It is then the pilot boat comes alongside. Often, for whatever reason, we don’t recognize the boat, or its pilot sent to carry us ashore.

The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus as he walked on the stormy water toward the tossing boat with the frightened fishermen. “It is I,” said Jesus. “Lord,” said Peter, “if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (vv. 27-28). But the strength of the waves caused Peter to be afraid and begin to sink, until Jesus, with his hand outstretched, pulled him gently above the water. Jesus is always with us whether we recognize him or not. He is our pilot ready to carry us safely ashore. —Peggy Byland

As you pray, thank the Lord for the pilots and the boats sent to rescue us.