“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.”
St. Augustine of Hippo
“You want to do WHAT?” Those words raced through my head when my husband came home during his medical fellowship in Chicago announcing the prospect of not returning to our family and friends back home in Tucson, Arizona. Instead, he considered applying for a job in Omaha, Nebraska. Anger, grief, fear and tears were present as I wrestled with God for a couple of weeks. During this time our pastor in Chicago preached on Matthew 14:25-30. God challenged me with this passage of Peter getting out of the comfort and safety of his boat to walk on water. He wanted me to leave my boat of back home familiarity, to follow Him. As I wept during the service, I relinquished my rights and surrendered to God’s plan. Twenty-six years later those same Scripture verses helped me step out of the security of my boat.
“During the fourth watch of the night 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 water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”
I admire Peter’s faith and his courage to ask the Lord to confirm His identity by commanding Peter to come to Him. Peter asked for it: to have his faith stretched and to be part of a miracle. I’m proud of Peter. He not only set himself up for a challenge, but he immediately obeyed the Lord. He didn’t hesitate, but simply stepped out of the security of the boat and began to walk on water toward the One he loved. It was when Peter took his eyes off of the Lord and saw the obstacle of the reality of wind, that he began to sink. When I take my eyes off of Jesus, my faith sinks and fear enters into my heart.
Fear and anxiety overwhelms me as I look at attending a Christian writers’ conference in Kansas City later this week. Meeting publishers and editors as well as pitching a new book idea causes me to cry out in fear. But my heavenly Father’s truth settles my heart. Before you can walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat!
I want to walk on water, with my gaze firmly fixed on Jesus. I know it’s in that position my faith muscle is flexed and my relationship with Him goes deeper. Our move to Omaha wasn’t easy and I still miss my family, friends and the beauty of the mountains. But looking back, I wouldn’t trade the comfort of my boat for walking on water.
“I am one of those who would rather sink with faith than swim without it.”
1. What boat of security and comfort are you inhabiting?
2. Describe a time when you stepped out of your boat and walked on water.
3. In what area is God commanding you to “Come” to Him?