Originally published Tuesday, 17 January 2012.
And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:25-31
The waves crashed, the wind howled and the disciples worried! A few precious insights give me great encouragement from this passage.
First, in the midst of the storm the disciples failed to recognize Jesus. I think that sometimes, like the disciples, I can also fail to perceive His presence comforting and guiding me in the middle of hard circumstances.
Secondly, they responded in fear to Jesus because they didn’t recognize Him. How many times have you responded in fear because you could not decipher what God was accomplishing in a difficult experience? I frequently respond just like those 12 men! When life is hard and I can’t make sense of it, I sometimes pull back from God in guarded distrust. This is not only incredibly unhealthy spiritually, but He has never once deserved my doubt!
Thirdly, in the middle of the storm, it just might be your chance to walk on water! It was while those waves crashed and the wind whipped furiously that Jesus invited Peter out for the adventure of a lifetime! What a rush -- walking on water! Maybe God is inviting you to walk on the very same waves that threatened to over turn your “boat” in life.
Lastly, if (and when) we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on the troubles around us, Peter exemplified just what we need to do: call out for Him! God will reach in to fish us out and set us safely back in the boat. Wherever you might be in the process this story describes, may you not miss your opportunity to walk over the waves and may you not miss the presence of Jesus, right there beside you today!
Looking for more encouragement in your walk with God?
Most of us have wished for a Cinderella moment when we could step into a new pair of shoes and in the blink of an eye have our lives transformed. Or, perhaps like Dorothy, we wish we could close our eyes, click our heels and find ourselves instantly transported away from the adventure we accidentally got dropped into. While it might not come from new shoes or heel clicking, God knows our need for a changed life and fresh start! Discover the life transformation that happens when you say "Yes" to God and step into His fullness. Walking with Jesus 101 is a collection of devotionals journeying through the Scriptures that point our feet to God's pathway for living. What walk of obedience, leap of faith or stand of endurance might God be calling you to? He has good things stored up for His children who eagerly seek His highway for living!