Walking On Water: Wonder Over Worry
“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, New International Version)
Peter didn’t doubt Jesus was able to walk on water, he watched Him do it. Peter lacked faith that he would be able to do what Jesus invited him to do; Peter worried that Jesus would not sustain him, that Jesus would call him out onto the water and then leave him to face the elements alone. Peter chose fear over faith. Even when Peter was faithless, Jesus was faithful.
When we learn about the miraculous signs and wonders Jesus performed, we are left amazed. Like Peter, we often ask God to let us be a part of what He is doing and, when He kindly extends an invitation for us to join Him, we step out of our proverbial boats in faith.
Why does the captivating wonder of our calling so quickly sink when met with the winds of adversity? How do we fix our eyes on Christ in the midst of the storm and choose wonder over worry?
Although I am under-qualified to address such weighty questions, I am praying these simple reminders will encourage us to once again see beyond what is visible. May we be more captivated by our Creator than by our current climate as we lift our eyes to see the One who walks on water; the One who rebukes the winds and the waves.
When I come before the throne of my Maker clothed in the robe of righteousness I could never earn, my posture should be one of humility. I am fully dependent on God. Apart from Christ, I can do nothing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – Jesus (John 15:5, NIV)
God is not lonely, and He does not need me. Far, far better than being needed, my God wants me. My Heavenly Father rescued me because He delighted in me. I am loved!
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:24-25, NIV)
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19, NIV)
I was created for relationship with Jesus. My purpose is to know and enjoy God. Attempting to assess and affirm my gifts is not a bad thing, but the Gospel is not about my gifts. The Gospel is about God’s glory, and this is good news! There is so much freedom in this truth! Even as I study the Holy Scriptures I must remember the beautiful invitation extended to me by my Creator:
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” – Jesus (John 5:39-40, NIV)
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17, NIV)
My dear friend, take heart, because even when what is seen seems more powerful than His promises, your Jesus will reach out and catch you time and time again. There is absolutely nothing you can do to make the Lord love you any more, or any less. Whenever you begin to sink, cry out and receive again the rescue of your Redeemer. When He puts you gently back into the boat, you will not be thinking about your fear or your faith, your failure or your future – you will not be thinking about yourself at all. Your eyes will be fully fixed on Jesus as wonder overwhelms worry and words of worship spill out of you as you fulfill your deepest calling: “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.