Years ago, Andrew Peterson wrote a song that said, “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat.” Shortly after, books popped up with the same title based on the Bible story of Peter walking to Jesus on water.
How many of us would love to have the faith to walk on water? But there’s a catch … in order to do that, we’ve got to haul our self out of the safety of the boat. We have to take that first scary step into liquid.
We remember the story of Jesus walking on the water to the disciples’ boat during a storm.
At first glance, the disciples believed he was a ghost. (Cue eerie music.)
When Peter realized it was the Lord he decided to get out of the boat and walk across the water to him.
All went well until the waves began to lap around Peter’s knees and he took his eyes off Jesus.
Jesus asked, “Oh, ye of little faith. Why did you doubt?”
Why did he doubt?
Why do we doubt?
Why was his faith small?
Why is our faith small?
In Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, he says The key to getting out of the boat is hearing the voice of God. If you’re going to get out of the boat in the middle of a lake in the middle of the night, you better make sure that Jesus said, “Come.” But if Jesus says, “Come,” you better not stay in the boat.
I used to be rather fearless, but I’m not so inclined these days. Decades ago a friend and I climbed up an open look-out tower on a small Native American Indian mound on an island in the middle of the St. John’s River in Florida.
As we approached the top, I stopped and latched onto the metal rail like my life depended on it, bent forward and waited for the earth to stop shaking.
Vertigo, compliments of an inner ear nerve imbalance gripped my body and I knew for sure I was going to careen to the ground in a broken heap.
My friend looked at me, asked if I was okay, then said, “I’ve never known you to wimp out of anything before.”
Just as my vertigo prevented me from going any further up that ladder to see the view only possible from way above the ground, our fear oftentimes stops us from climbing to the heights Jesus wants us to reach. It freezes us and keeps us from putting one leg after the other over the side of the boat and stepping on top of the water.
We wimp out.
Jesus wants us to experience a life of faith in him. He wants us to achieve more than we could ever imagine.
He wants us to remember he is right here with us, holding our hand when the waves threaten to pull us under. He wants us to get out of the boat when he says, “Come.”
If we allow fear to keep us in our personal safe boat, we’ll never walk on water.
Are there any times when you’ve stepped out of the boat in faith, even when you were frightened?
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Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. Matthew 14:24-33 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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