All I can say is “Wow!” Matthew 14.24-36
In order to realize great things in your life, you will likely have to risk greatly.
Even with Jesus.
I love the beach. And I am content to walk along the edge of the water, and let its occasional cool wave ripple across my feet. And since I sang a song in high school choir that went like this, “Here comes Je-sus, see him walking on the water…he’ll lift you up, and he’ll help you to stand…” I regularly look out at the water and think, ‘Man it must have been something else to see Jesus come walking across the tops of the waves that night!’ And then I imagine it. Usually that’s where I stop.
But just who would say, ‘Lord, let me come to you’? I mean seriously, Peter was exhausted from the long day and trying to keep the fishing boat upright in the midst of a virulent storm, and he is willing to risk stepping out of the boat onto the rough Sea of Galilee?! Who does that? Impetuous, impulsive, risk-taking, Jesus-trusting Peter. Seems like it required all of those qualities together to step out of the boat that night.
Take a look:
“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.”1
Ah Peter. We could spend a whole semester studying the complexities and ultimate greatness of his life.
But right now, imagine that Jesus spoke your name; imagine if he said to you,
“Jennifer, get out of the boat, and come to me …
Joao Paolo, get out of the boat, and come to me …
Leslie, get out of the boat, and come to me …”
Would you do it?
What determines your answer? Several things, I believe. How big do you think God is? Okay, okay, you sing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’, sweet little ditty that it is, but do you think he is big FOR you? I mean, he might reach out his hand and save Peter or Billy Graham, but would God grab you out of the waves? And, Are you courageous or a coward? We’re just talking real here, right? Are you willing to take a risk that you might be a part of the miraculous?
Here’s the thing: God will never force you. He is a gentleman, and you gotta love that about him. But he will invite you to step into greatness in him.
And don’t miss the last line of this passage. People just risked reaching out to touch the fringe of Jesus’ robe, and they were healed2. Yeah that’s because God isn’t just great, but he is unabashedly so good.
And with that, I just have to say, I do believe I would have gotten out of the boat. Yeah, like Peter, I probably would have looked around then and screamed, ‘what am I doing?’ thinking it was me who was doing it, when all the while it was Jesus.
This is the life, Man, and I’m not trading it for anything! Where’s the boat? I’m getting out of it. Actually, I think I already did.
1 – Matthew 14.24-36, New Living Translation
2 – Matthew 14.36
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