A little hindsight into what happened before this block of scripture. John the Baptist had been killed. Jesus was sad, very sad, at the parting of this prophet and great friend. He had remedied his grief in one of the best ways possible by serving thousands of people from a few loaves and fishes. Afterwards he went to the mountain to pray and sent his disciples to the ship.
Soon the little ship was being tossed about in a stormy sea. Jesus went to his disciples, quite literally walking on the water. They had seen Him perform miracles and yet as they saw Him walking on the water they were unsure of who they were seeing and why. I can imagine the water and boat being thrown about made it harder to see and recognize their Savior.
When they first saw Jesus walking on the water they saw a spirit and were afraid. Matthew 14:26 says the following, "And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear."
Peter responds in the following way; "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water."
Peter wants to trust that it is who he says it is, Jesus Christ. He demonstrates great faith in seeking to know that it is indeed Jesus. He also wants proof.
"And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."
Then Peter starts to sink;
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." He takes his eyes off of the Savior, looks around at the frightening things, the wind the waves and he doubts his faith.
I love in verse 31 where it speaks of the Saviors' expediency in reaching out to Peter, "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Even in his very moment of doubting his faith, the Savior is quick to reach out and lift Peter up. There isn't a moment of hesitation. I am amazed at the swiftness of the Saviors' actions. It is the same way with us, if their is any hesitance it is on our side.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:67 says the following;
"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things."
Peter was successful in walking on water because his focus was on the Savior and not on the frightful things of the world. Elder Oaks said the following in a talk on obstacles;
"Nothing is impossible to those who keep God’s commandments. But help only comes as we move forward.
How do we respond when we are confronted with a task that seems to be impossible?
All of us face obstacles. All of us have challenges. We all walk paths that lead us toward heights we think we cannot ascend. Sooner or later we all stand at the foot of cliffs we think we cannot scale."
Help comes as we take each step forward into the darkness, with an eye single to the glory of Jesus.