Does Jesus ask us to walk on water?
I don’t know what the Lord is whispering to your heart right now, but I know it can feel like walking on water.
We can feel incredibly small as God asks us to believe big.
Maybe, like me, you read the story of Peter leaping into the water and you identify with it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “
Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:25-31 (NIV)
Many times when this story is shared, the emphasis is on how Peter sank like a rock or on Jesus’ words as he reached out his hand and caught Peter.
Can we look at this one more time?
It’s not every day you see someone walking on the water. That’s a scary sight, but Peter was willing to take a risk.
When Jesus said, “Come,” he climbed down out of the boat and took a few shaky steps on the water. His eyes are on Jesus. . . until he feels the wind and sees the waves.
I’ve been there, have you?
Yes, I have been there. I am there. I’ll be there again.
Suddenly I’m walking on water.
Seriously, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I know it in my heart. I’m taking that wild, beautiful step of faith. Until the wind buffets me. And the waves splash. That’s when I take my eyes off Jesus.
The conversation in my head sounds something like this:
Oh word, am I really walking on water?
Am I really taking this step of faith?
Whoah, wait. Where’s the boat? How did it get so far, so fast?
Where did that wave come from? Oh, the wind is whipping me around.
Yep, I’m sinking.
I’m going down.
What in the world was I thinking?
Jesus reaches for us.
Even as I write these words, I feel Jesus reaching for me. He’s reminding me of a very simple truth. Maybe he’s whispering it to you too.
If he is the one saying “Come,” then sink or swim, we are in the deep with Jesus.
And that’s not a bad place to be.
The waves and wind are the realities that come with stepping out in faith. Let’s be real. It would be easier for us to cocoon ourselves in the absolute assuredness of staying in the boat. We wouldn’t have to admit our shortcomings. We wouldn’t have to ask for help. We wouldn’t have to trust. We wouldn’t have to wonder if we’ll fail or succeed.
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We wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t discover what God wants to teach us. We wouldn’t discover the strength of falling and reaching for Jesus, or the joy of feeling his hands reach for ours.
I don’t want to live in the boat! I want my faith story to be that when Jesus said, “Come,” that I climbed out of the boat.
I hear you. That’s your cry too.
Yes, we will be aware of every weakness. Yes, we will feel the wind. Yes, we see the water splashing around our shins, or maybe our neck, but we will be in the deep with Jesus.
Jesus’ words to Peter weren’t a rebuke, but a reminder.
He said them as he reached for Peter. His said them as his strength held Peter above the waves.
I can’t begin to tell you how God is stirring in this girl right now. There are times I wipe away tears, overwhelmed at all that he’s speaking to me.
It feels big. TOO big.
I have no idea how it’s all going to play out. All I know is that I can’t do it on my own. But this is the beauty of faith — it’s not my job to do it on my own.
All he’s asking me to do is to climb out of the boat one day at a time.
Are you there with me?
Maybe we’ll sink, but we’ll know what name to shout as we do.
Maybe we’ll walk on water, but our eyes will be on Jesus the whole time.
Let’s do this, friends. Let’s step out of the boat and into the deep with Jesus.
Bring your Bible. Grab your journal.
So, what do you need to do?
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