Getting Out of the Boat

Reposted from September 2008

lonely boat

Okay, who doesn’t remember the story in Matthew where Jesus had been ministering all day to needy people (like you and me) and then catered the gathering of 5000?  Amazing and miraculous?  Yes!  But there is more… my favorite parts are at the end of the passage in Matthew 14.

Jesus had sent the disciples out on the water while He dismissed the crowd and went up the mountain to pray.  Sometime later the disciples had found themselves in the middle of a storm with high winds and large waves.  If that wasn’t enough, they looked out across the water only to see what they thought was a ghost coming toward them.   Jesus called out to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”.  So Peter asked, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”  Jesus told Peter to come… Peter stepped out and walked toward Jesus, but during his walking he looked down and was struck with fear when he saw the churning of the sea beneath his feet.  He began to sink.  Jesus said,

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Jesus helped Peter up and into the boat and the waves died down.  Then the disciples worshipped Jesus saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This story is sort of like a bedtime story to me.  It gives me comfort and joy and leaves me with many thoughts to ponder.

The first point that I love to chew on is that Jesus didn’t say to Peter ‘you have no faith’, rather he said ‘you have little faith’… and what makes that ultimately cool is that Peter didn’t demonstrate faith until he GOT OUT of the boat.  That’s a pretty awesome thought to ponder… that until you take a step into unknown territory or into a place that you can’t see what’s next… you aren’t demonstrating faith.

The second point that I love to consider is that as long as we focus our eyes on Jesus when we are walking in faith we will remain afloat.  But when we become distracted by the trials and tribulations at hand, we begin to sink… but never out of the reach of our Savior.

Finally, and perhaps most perplexing to me is the thought that the wind that whipped up was that of the Holy Spirit.  Why not?  The Spirit is referred to over and over again throughout scripture as wind.  Could not the Spirit have been testing the boys in the boat, all the while being ever so close and near to them; ready to embrace them had they only recognized the ever present power?

Remember, next time you are in the midst of some terrible storm of life and find yourself being whipped around right, left, and center… consider just how close your ever-present Savior really is and call out to Him.  He’s ready to lift you up.

Stepping Out in Faith,

Jeana

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