I’ve always loved the story of Peter leaping enthusiastically
out of the boat and walking towards Jesus across the water. Over
the years I’ve thought about it a lot as I’ve tried really hard to have
the guts to follow Jesus into the places he’s called me to.
There are a probably a hundred different sweet, important, challenging things you could find in this one story, but today I’m picking the three which I’ve been thinking about this summer and maybe God will speak to you through one of them…
The people in the boat were possibly not shouting ‘Go Peter!’
I wonder whether the other disciples heard Jesus’ voice above the waves. If not, then their reaction would almost certainly have been of the “where are you going you nutter” variety. Sometimes God speaks to us through our peers, often through our leaders, and always in line with the Bible; but occasionally He calls us to do something that looks kind of crazy to a LOT of people…
He only went where he was called to go.
Peter heard Jesus and obeyed even though it looked (and probably felt) impossible. Note that he didn’t just wildly do something that looked impossible and then ask Jesus to bless him in it… Big difference.
‘Safe’ is relative.
I’m not into taking risks. Unlike my 5 year old, I have this inner drive to try to stay safe. Maybe it’s a mum thing? I’ve heard a lot of talks about walking on water that suggest it’s all about taking risks and stepping out of the safety of the boat. But that misses an interesting question which I heard Jesus ask one day when I was struggling with this:
“where do you think is safer, Ellie? In the boat? or where I am?”
I guess it depends a bit on your definition of ‘safe’… but I’m inclined to wonder if in that moment Peter saw the boat for what it was, and Jesus for who he was…
…or maybe he was just a crazy hothead out for some adventure.
Here’s the thing… I really don’t want to leave the comfort of a safe, predictable boat, but I REALLY want to walk on water. Can’t have it both ways!
I painted this postcard after spending a lot of time listening to this song, Oceans by Hillsongs. My heart is especially captured by the line:
‘spirit lead me where my faith is without borders’
That’s my prayer for today – a yearning to replace comfort with courage… to go beyond the limits of my fragile faith… to walk on water.
For your journal
I guess my point from today is that if you want to walk on water in your life of faith with God, the first step is that you really HAVE to be able to hear him speak to you. Make some time to listen to him today, about the things you’re already doing, and maybe make some space for him to call you out of the boat again…