There is a story in Matthew that I really love. I might have shared it before, but I read it yesterday, and I wanted to share a few thoughts that came to mind as I read it.
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against 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?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.””
(Matthew 14:22-33 NIV)
I can relate to Peter in so many ways. First is his desire to reach out in faith. Over the last several months I have really had a burning desire to become a minister. I don’t know what that looks like, and I still owe time to the Navy, but I want a faith that will lead me to taking such a leap forward in serving God, and being the example of what God intended for me.
There is a song that I love so very much. I have a brother in Christ who always tells me how much it means to him when we sing it during worship on Sunday mornings. Most have heard it. The song Oceans by Hillsong United has really become a reflection of what I pray for my faith to become everyday.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be…” (Hillsong United)
Aren’t those words so beautiful. The idea of the Spirit taking control and truly leading me to walk such faith that I would ignore the waves around and just step on the water toward my Savior and then live a life that reflects his image. But it is the other side that we see in this story that often trips me up. Shortly after Peter leaves the boat to walk towards Christ we see fear begins to fill his heart. When fear fills his heart the clouds of doubt move in, and Peter who so courageously left the boat begins to sink into the sea.
It is that second image of Peter that I also relate to. I let the world around me in, and with it comes doubt and fear. I fear I am not enough. I begin to doubt the fire inside my soul the Spirit has given me as I try to serve God. I begin to doubt that I am not good enough to be who God expects me to be. I don’t think I am alone. I am sure there are others who have such a fire for God, but often begin to doubt their faith.
Jesus like he always did he reached out and said to Peter you of little faith, why did you doubt. I always imagine Jesus with a look of love as he reminded Peter that his faith was enough to give him the power to walk with Christ on the water. All Peter had to do is walk to Jesus. You see, Jesus was in control of it all. It was Peter’s faith that got him out of the boat into the stormy water. All he had to do was look to Jesus and walk.
My pray today is that all of us have the faith that Peter started with as he left the boat and walk to Christ. I pray we let the Holy Spirit work in us so that we can take the first step forward, and no matter the things that tell us we are not enough or cause us to fear we will continue to look to Christ. All we have to do is walk, he has the rest.