I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a key factor in every Christian’s life. It’s something that we should all look at when our lives come down to it. When you look at the story in scripture of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14, Mark 6, John 6), there is a huge part of the story that sometimes gets left out in the story. It is the story of the disciples.
First – there is fear. The disciples were in a boat, rowing against the wind, and trying to reach the other shore. Jesus had stayed behind to pray, and was simply making his way from one side to the other. When the disciples saw him they became afraid. They thought it was a ghost, because in their minds it was not comprehendible that a man could be walking on the water. The irony in it all is the fact that just as we do, they cried out for Jesus. He was on His way to meet them on the other side, but when He heard them He stopped. Many times in our lives we are faced with fears and uncertainties that cause us to not see that the Lord is there with us, but instead we assume it is something which means us harm.
This is where the story of the disciples becomes what we overlook. Many times we see the story of the faith of Peter, we hear time and time again about how He had the faith to step out – and I don’t want to downplay that at all – because it is important. Peter called out and told Jesus to call Him and then stepped out on the water. Peter did what no other man has ever been able to do, he walked on water; but there is more to the story than that. The story of the other disciples who stayed put – the ones who were too scared to see the opportunity at hand. Peter may not have made it to Jesus, but he had the faith to step out and try to get to where His Lord was, not wait on Jesus to come to him.
Many times in our lives we overlook the opportunities we have because we are too scared to ‘get out of the boat’. We become content in our lives to wait on what the Lord is going to do for us, and not pursue Him in the way that we should. We should pursue with full abandon, forgetting what is going on in our lives and pushing forward toward Jesus…because as Peter knew, the shelter that He can provide is much greater than what we are facing. But where Peter failed we can also learn a lesson of keeping our focus on Jesus – because the wind will blow, but with our eyes on Jesus we can make the path all the way to Him. We don’t need to be content sitting back and waiting on the Lord to work in our lives, becoming gravely disappointed with the circumstances and asking God why something isn’t happening. We need to step out on faith, keep our eyes on Jesus, and go to where He is. Things happen a lot quicker when we are willing to meet Him rather than wait. So, I encourage you to get out of the boat, and trust that you will be able to face the waves, knowing that with your eyes on Jesus, nothing in impossible.