As we wake up each morning, we have a few decisions to make. Some of us struggle with getting out of bed to face the day ahead of us. I can relate to this, because more often than not, it’s exhausting. Life is complicated. The world is full of attention seekers whether it’s coming from companies marketing their products to us or people who require our attention.
Most of us have probably heard the story of Jesus walking on water. And as we read the scripture, it may be easy to just focus on the fact that Jesus walked on water. But there is so much more that this scripture has for us. Matthew 14:22 picks up after Jesus fed the five thousand and it starts by Jesus telling His disciples to go before Him to the other side while He dismissed the crowds.
The disciples listened and headed out. We too head out daily to face life and this world. We get up, brush our teeth, take care of our kids or ourselves, take medication (For some), workout, drive to work etc. and head out. We start our days without knowing what may come our way. The disciples didn’t know either what was coming their way as they headed out on the boat.
But what did happen? Life happened. The boat was beaten by the waves and the winds were up and going against them. Doesn’t that sound familiar?… As the waves hit us, what do we do? Some of us turn to social media, google, blogs, gossip groups, and so forth before turning to Jesus. We may think that Jesus isn’t there with us as we go through life, but He is. Even as He sent His disciples away, Jesus went by Himself to pray alone, and that may have made the disciples feel like they were left alone. But that wasn’t the case.
Eventually during the turmoil, the disciples saw Jesus coming towards them walking on water. But they didn’t recognize Him. They assumed the worst and in fear, thought they were seeing a ghost. They had this unbelief that in their struggle Jesus would be absent. They couldn’t see past their fear that Jesus was coming to be with them. That he understood what they were going through and that they needed Him to comfort their hearts.
Jesus calls out and tells His disciples to not fear and that it was Him coming. Peter still in unbelief asked Jesus to command him to come if indeed it was him. Let’s pause for a second here… Do we ever catch ourselves asking “If it’s you Jesus, show me”? You’re not alone. Peter did this as well.
I ask you to pause not because I want you to beat yourself up, but because I want you to see that we all can do this at times. Even in our disbelief, Jesus continues to move towards us and then commands us to “Come”. All it takes is one word. Just one word from the most Holy and we can be assured that we are safe. But safe according to His will not ours. All Peter needed was one word. He didn’t need reasons and arguments to win Peter over. All He needed was the truth. The Word of truth. The confidence in our Lord.
So, Peter stepped out. He also walked on water and felt what is was like to walk in freedom of worry, struggle, and fear. While Peter remained focused, nothing that happened around him mattered. He was fixed on Jesus. He was fixed on his purpose. To live for Him.
As this scripture comes to an end, we are reminded that when we look away, fear creeps back in and knocks us down. Peter started to sink and asked to be saved by the only One who could save Him. Jesus.
Jesus didn’t let him drown. He knew what Peter needed just as He knows what you and I need. Jesus reached down immediately and saved him but still asked him why he doubted? So, my question to us is this… Why do we doubt? Let’s reflect on the things that keep our eyes away from He who saves and find ways to not simply avoid but overcome our struggles so that we can remain focused on Him.
Earlier in this scripture Jesus did something that we can do to help us re focus on Him. Jesus went to the mountain top to pray. Brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s take some time to be alone with God and just pray. Ask Him for what your heart truly needs and have faith that He is there with you. Even in seasons of doubts, He can reach down and pull you back up. May we find courage in that.
As we face our daily struggles, as we face life and this world, let’s find courage in knowing that God is there. Let’s also find courage in knowing that waves will hit us from all angles and that in those times we can look to Jesus and wait for His command. The waves may continue to hit us and at times they may be worse than other days. But know this my brothers and sisters. Jesus is the same. He is here. He is real. We can trust in Him always. He is Truly the son of God. Glory to our Father and Lord. Amen
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.Matthew 14:22-33 ESV
23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”