The gospel writer Matthew powerfully tells the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. You remember that Jesus had sent the disciples ahead of him so He could be alone to pray. It reads:
"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “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?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt. 14:22 - 33, NIV )
This story of Jesus telling Peter to walk to him on the water is one that encourages us in our struggle with the tension between doubt and faith. We all have times when we struggle with our faith in God. Whether it’s being healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ robe, or by being saved from the churning waters by reaching out to grab Jesus’ hand; regardless God’s power to save and redeem us is always greater than our doubt.
Each of us have situations and problems in our lives that represent for us the water Peter encountered that day. One of my favorite books is titled: If you want to Walk on Water you’ve got to get out of the Boat. It’s one of those titles that is really self - revealing. Indeed, the first step is the hardest — getting out of the boat. What is it in your life that represents the boat you need to “get out of”? What is it in your life that represents the churning waters that you face? What resources do you need to be able to confidently take that first step? Examples of ways you can “step out” include: joining a Sunday School class, participating in a Bible study or in our Wednesday night programming, volunteering to help in one of our many mission out reach programs. Each of us is called to find a way to step out of the boat, to fix our eyes on Jesus trusting that He will be our helper and our guide. It is our joy to journey with you as you bravely step out of the boat.
Blessings and Prayers, Lea