Recently I have been contemplating the scriptures passage, Matthew 14:22-33, where Peter walks on the water with Jesus. First of all I am always a little befuddled by Peter. He has abundant faith and intimate knowledge of who Jesus is while at the same time being completely afraid of association and often displays a striking lack of faith. But I know that the confusion I feel for Peter is something that draws me to him because I have trouble understanding the contradictions that exist in my own faith.
While I was in PNG, Liz and I acted out this story for the kids during one of our Bible story times. Because of how close everyone sits it felt like everyone participated. We had a boat bench and some of the kids were the other disciples. I remember little Liz (with the red on her shirt) being super excited to be in the ‘boat’.
Then we watched Liz who was the narrator and Jesus ‘walking on water’ and approaching the boat. She called out to us as Jesus and calmed the disciples. And then after calling out to Jesus, I took my first cautious steps out on the ‘water’.
But quickly acting as Peter, I became afraid because of the wind and needed Jesus’ hand to keep from sinking completely. And then everyone worshiped Jesus for who He is saying “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I think my life reflects this pattern more often than I would like. I have faith. I love and know Jesus. But as soon as I step out of the boat, I become afraid. Life is full of storms and uncomfortable situations where I can’t quite remain focused on Jesus who is the one who will keep me from sinking. Instead I, like Peter, get distracted by the waves and start to sink. However, Christ in his goodness doesn’t let us keep sinking. He just reaches out his hand and secures us.
I feel like this trip to Australia is one of the times where I am stepping out of the boat. Jesus has already told me to come. He is there waiting for me on the water and I just have to step out in faith. Please pray that I don’t loose my focus and start to sink. I know that Jesus will be there even if I do sink. However, he has already told me that I can walk on water. I want to trust him and believe him and part of that is keeping my eyes on him.