Walking on water
It’s hard to believe that the first month of the year is over. If you’re like me you have big hopes and dreams for this year. There are many challenges and adventures – but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
On holidays last week, I read the story of Peter walking on water. I’ve read it many times before, but this time, I saw something new …
Matthew 14:25 Early in the morning, Jesus walked toward them on the sea. The disciples were in the boat and when they saw him walking on the sea they were terrified saying “It is a ghost!” and cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened and beginning to sink, he cried out “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him saying to him “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him saying, “Truly you are the Son of God”.
What impacted me most about this story was what Jesus said to Peter as he started to sink “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I’ve often felt surprised at these words of Jesus, they seem strange … after all, wasn’t Peter the bravest out of all the disciples? The rest of them clung to the safety of the boat “terrified”. Peter was the only one prepared to seize the moment and do something daring and radical! “Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the water”. When Jesus told him to “Come” he courageously let himself down over the side of the boat – and began to walk on water! Something else no man in recorded history has done, that I know of anyway. Personally, I think Peter was amazing!
Yet instead of Jesus saying to Peter “well done, I’m so proud of you!”
Jesus said “you of little faith, why did you doubt”?
As I pondered this, God opened my eyes to see something I’d not seen before. Jesus was saying this to grow Peter up. He was challenging him to understand his true identity. He wanted him to S – T – R – E – T – C – H his view of himself and get a deeper revelation of who he really was. He wanted him to understand his true greatness. So … a paraphrase of Jesus words could be “Oh Peter, why did you doubt?!! You were going so well but you forgot who you were. Don’t you remember who I’ve called you to be? You carry my authority. When you speak to the wind and the waves, they WILL BE STILL!. When you speak to demons THEY WILL FLEE. I have given you my authority to RAISE THE DEAD and HEAL THE SICK. You can defy the natural realm and WALK ON WATER like me. You could have done it, if only you didn’t doubt!”
We see the truth of our own true identity as sons and daughters of God in verses such as 1 John 4:17 “As He is, so are we in this world”. All the authority of Jesus has been given to us. I feel God saying that it’s time to REALLY believe that!
As I thought about my big dreams for 2014, I don’t expect it all to be smooth sailing – it never is. I assume the same for you. Nevertheless, we can each expect to hear Jesus invitation to ‘COME’ across the stormy waters.
What a great opportunity to learn to walk on water -f if we get out of the boat!
And if we start to sink, we can know with confidence that Jesus will grab hold of us, just as he did with Peter “when Peter started to sink, Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him”. I’m so glad we can TRUST Him to do the same for us.
So what’s your dream? Is it time to be like Peter and get out of the boat?