By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples. When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming. At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him. But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?” When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!” Matthew 14:24-33(1)
This story was first shared with me by a wonderful Sunday School teacher many moons ago, but the truth didn’t hit home until a year ago when I followed Him and stepped out of my boat. Sometimes the boat is really not as comfortable as we want to believe, but it’s often easier to make-do than to trust Him to do the seemingly impossible. This faith walk has not been ‘easy’ but bearing the following in mind has helped me greatly.
The boat has a purpose. Make sure you’re using it for the right reasons. Don’t expect the boat to become what it was not intended to be. In a storm, the boat is as vulnerable as you are – it cannot save you. Place your trust only in Him.
The boat is temporal … It will not last. It is man-made … finite. It will eventually corrode or be smashed to pieces whether or not you step out of it. God is omnipresent but he doesn’t sanction everything … If He’s not in your boat, then you probably don’t need to be in it either. (‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower’ – that is where you will be safe.)
The concept of walking on water may blow your mind but there’s greater still that He can do through you. Don’t become so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget Who gives you the ability to do what you do. Focus on Him. When you step out, know that you cannot keep your eyes on your feet. Keep your eyes on Him. (Trust Him to direct you – He will lead you).
Those in the boat may offer you help but there’s no point in going under with them. The vision He gives you may not be obvious to everyone … follow through on what He tells you to do even if you think you look ridiculous.
When He steps into the boat, the situation changes!! The winds died “when Jesus got into the boat”. Storms will come – there’s no question about that. There’s also no question as to whether He is there to deliver. Don’t allow the boat to capsize with you in it. If the writing on the wall says it’s time, it likely is time. Allow Him to be the calming force in your life so others can see His glory.
Father I am thankful for the boats you give me. I am thankful for the purposes they serve but I am mindful that the boat is not where you want me to live. There are times I feel safe in the boat. I’m comfortable and I have no idea there’s a storm coming. Help me to keep my eyes trained on You and to keep my ears attuned to Your direction. Others may not hear when You tell me to step out of the boat. Help me to move forward in the confidence of Your word instead of pleasing those who are around me.
I have been manning my own boat for years – I think I know it inside out but if You’re not in it, I don’t want to be in it either. I trust You to guide me to safe ground even before the storm hits but if You choose to lead me through it, I will still trust You. May Your name be glorified. I will follow You even if it means getting back into the very boat from which I escaped.
( 1)Contemporary English Version® Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
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