After spending the day water skiing we would often go to a cove on the lake and jump into the lake with our life jackets on and just free float. It is a wonderful feeling to be so peaceful on the water.
In Matthew 14:23-33 we read about the disciples going out in their boat while Jesus went up the mountainside by himself. He later joined the disciples. But by the time he joined them they were away from the shore. Jesus didn’t take a boat out to meet them instead he walked out to greet them. He was walking on the water. This terrified the men because they thought they were seeing a ghost. But it was Jesus in the flesh. How could this be to them Jesus was a man and not much more. Peter was not short-sighted he understood that Jesus was the Messiah and he asked Jesus to call to him.
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
I’ve been like Peter. I have gotten out of the boat with all the trust I could have only to have a storm wind come up and I lose my trust. I start to get overwhelmed with my circumstances and lose focus that Jesus is the only life preserver I need to survive this broken unfair world.
Notice though, Peter was not left to his own lack of faith Jesus reached out to him. Catch that…Jesus reached out to him. Sure he rebuked Peter’s wavering faith but first Jesus reached out to him. I think that is a beautiful image. As a mom, I’ve done that. I remember working with our girls and their swimming technique. I would hold them then push them away from me hoping they would use the skills they were learning. At first, they would be flailing around. I’d remind them to use their arms. I would pluck them out of the water is they failed to stay calm.
“Why don’t you use your arms and kick your legs,” I asked. I reassured them I would not let anything bad happen to them they only needed to trust. Trust me and trust what they had been taught.
It’s easy to sit in the boat. It’s safe there. However, if we want to really experience God’s faithfulness we must get out of the boat. God will reach for us He won’t let us sink. He will remind us who we are meant to be. So get out of the boat and experience God fearlessly.