But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”Matthew 14:27-31 NIV
“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 the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Peter did something that, as far as I know, has never been replicated, apart from Jesus. In the middle of a storm, he climbed out of the boat and walked across the water. I can just picture the other disciples. Their eyes must have bulged out. And they may have found themselves a bit envious.
But the walk was short lived. Eventually Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked around at his circumstances. There was a storm going on. And he was on the outside of the boat. And when that realization sunk in, he became afraid and began to sink in the sea.
Peter cried out to Jesus and was rescued, but also rebuked. Why did you doubt, Jesus asked him. You believed when you stepped out of the boat. What caused the doubt to come into your life?
Do I Walk On Water?
While I have been on a boat in a storm, I must confess that I never considered stepping out of the boat onto the water. But I have been in similar situations. Times when Jesus has called me to step out of the safety represented by the boat. To step out in faith along a course he leads me to.
Sometimes fear keeps me in the boat. But other times I step out and find that the walking is not so bad. Until I take my eyes off of Jesus and look at the circumstances around me. Those threatening circumstances that I had not really noticed as long as I kept my eyes where they were supposed to be. And too many times I have found myself scrambling back into the safety of the boat, only to hear Jesus sorrowfully say to me “why did you doubt?”
How much better to just keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, following him wherever he leads. Jesus is stronger than the waves that seem so threatening. And if he has called me to walk out to him on the water, he will keep me afloat.