You gotta get out of the boat…Peter did…what prevents you from stepping out? Fear? Anger? Resentment? Lack of knowledge? In Matt 14:22-31 we are told that Jesus sent His disciples across the lake, and after sending the crowd away, he went up to the mountain alone to pray. We are informed that a terrible storm ensued when the disciples were right in the middle of the sea. Scripture states that Jesus saw them struggling in the storm and came to them walking on the water. Then of course we know what Peter said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Jesus did, and we are told that Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus on top of the water, until he looked at the wind, became afraid and began to sink…so like us. Scripture tells us that Jesus reached out his hand and took hold of him. In all the years I’ve read this, I’ve read it recognizing that it magnifies the deity of Jesus as well as Peter’s quick response and then due to taking his eyes off Jesus, sinks. I get that, but in the midst of my trials right now, I see a little more. If you’re interested…keep reading.
Here is where I find myself, struggling in the middle of a raging storm of life. But if I read all this correctly…Jesus was praying, saw the disciples struggling, and he comes to them, in all of his Deity. That gives me great comfort…therefore, I can rest knowing that his eye is on me…and he sees the struggle that is rising up over my head and threatening to take me out. He can be trusted. Psalms 6:1 tells us God is an ever-present help in time of need.
So, will I step out of the water and walk with Him? Trust? I want to. How do I do that? I believe it is first in making a conscious choice to believe and accept his sacrificial act of love on the cross…on my behalf…trust Him, in faith, keeping my eyes on him (that means…keep your head up and your feet movin’), believing that he cares for me, and knows my struggles.
1. I trust him. I believe He is for me. I will choose to believe that He sees me and knows how this struggle is about to take me out…covering me, or burying me under its weight. I will choose to continue to do things His way
2. I will “lose my life,” putting my flesh response to death and step forward to meet the one who is causing me great pain and angst, in love and kindness, embracing the truth, that “hurt people, hurt people.”
3. I will by an act of my will, determine to choose life. Choose to focus on the positive, choosing to do the opposite of what my first thought might be…Retaliation…defensiveness, hatefulness, sarcasm…withdrawing, ignoring, putting a wall around my heart and believing the lies, and the list goes on and on and on.
4. Eph 4:29 reads… “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
5. Eph 4:15 Paul tells us to speak the truth in love.
6. II Cor. 10:5 tells us to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ…The battle begins in the mind…don’tlet our mind be lead us right into defeat.
7. Phil 4:8...to think on things that are true, noble, whatever is right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy - think on these things. Be thankful!
8. And last, but certainly not least… I Peter 3:9…not repaying evil for evil, insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead.
Grace (God’s favor) is available to me at all times....but when I determine to honor, worship, and be obedient to his directives he showers on me and gives me an extra measure. Then peace comes and I’m able to rise above the struggle of life and walk with him above the difficulty of the storm. Doesn’t mean I’ll walk on water every time, but it does mean that I can. It doesn’t mean I won’t be sad, but I don’t have to let this difficulty take me out, emotionally, physically, or spirituality. Grace flows and joy comes, when I worship him with my obedience. What about you? Are you willing to choose the difficult option…the one that might be a little more scary, or a little more anxiety provoking? It isn’t always our actions, but it is looking at our motive as to why we are doing something. It might mean, taking a step forward or taking a step back… either way… You can’t walk on water unless you get out of the boat! Trust Him…He sees you and he knows your struggles.