I have read this story many times in the Bible. It came up as one of the passages in a Bible reading plan I am doing on youversion a few days ago. I kept reading the last verse over and over where it says:
“So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus”
He went over the side of the boat. In a storm. Far away from land as the Bible tells us (v.24). When I read this I kept thinking about a time in Florida when I was with friends and we were on their beautiful boat but we had gotten stuck on a sandbar. I could still see the land and it was a beautiful sunny Florida day. Then my friends dad told us to jump out and push us off… wait what? Are you kidding me? You want me to jump over the side of this boat into the water and push us off of a sandbar? This is not happening, have you even seen the movie Jaws??? BUT… over the side of the boat my friends went and ONLY because I was afraid of their dad… over I went too… I was terrified.
I bring up that story because I can’t even imagine what faith it took Peter to go over the side of his boat..in the middle of the ocean in a storm when the story already told us that they were afraid and distressed. I know that when I am afraid or distressed it’s so easy to just shrink back in my fear and stay there. But God is calling us to Him. Asking us to get out of our boat… step out of our fear… walk towards Him by faith and faith alone. Peter knew it was not physically possible for him to walk on water… but he went over the side of the boat anyways because of his faith in the Lord and he walked on water towards Jesus. Wow… are there even any words to describe the measure of faith and the power of God..
What boat is the Lord asking you to get out of? What storm in life are you in the middle of and He is calling out for you to trust Him and just walk to Him by faith? It’s so scary sometimes. To try and walk by faith when we can’t see the next steps. To take that step of faith and obedience but not know where it may lead… to trust God fully.. The next part of Peter’s story shows us that he was scared and doubted too..
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Even though Peter had the faith to go over the side of the boat in the middle of the ocean and WAS walking on water he still was afraid… but Jesus didn’t leave him in the ocean to drown because he doubted Him. It’s says that Jesus IMMEDIATELY reached out for Him. Immediately. What love the Father has for us.. it’s unconditional and never ending.
If you are afraid to step out of whatever boat you may be in today… do it afraid. Walk towards Jesus… trust Him. If you get scared He will be there to rescue you. He won’t leave you to drown in the storm… He is good. Always. Even when we can’t see or understand what He may be doing in our life or why we are going through what we are going through… He is still good and His love for us is unconditional and never ending.
I am writing this blog as much for you as I am for myself. I recently got out of a boat that I was holding on to for too long. It’s scary. Even through I knew that boat was not where I was supposed to be, it was a comfortable boat and there were things about it that I loved and was passionate about.. the hardest part about getting out of that boat was that there wasn’t exactly another boat like it waiting to pick me up, carry me off to the land flowing with milk & honey where all of my dreams will come true. It’s hard to walk away or out of something when you can’t see what is next. But I believe with everything in me that the Lord honors obedience and that me walking on the water with Him, waiting for Him to reveal His plan for me is infinitely better than staying comfortable in my boat. And I believe the same is true for you too.
So today… what boat are you needing to get out of and are you willing to do it?