Blog – 11-7-19
I love the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water found in Matthew 14. To recap the story, Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Just a small, little miracle! Jesus wanted to spend some time in solitude and silence, so he told the disciples to get in the boat and go on without him. He would catch up with them later.
In the middle of the night, a storm picked up. Jesus saw the disciples out on the water and knew they were afraid, so he walked out on the water to them. They thought he was a ghost, but Jesus told them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
I love what happens in Matthew 14:25. It reads, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus invites Peter to come, and Peter doesn’t hesitate. He takes a huge leap of faith and gets right out on that water. Go, Peter! But then, right in the middle of the miracle, he looks down and sees the waves crashing around him. Doubt and fear instantly take over, and he starts to sink.
Peter quickly redeems himself as he cries out, “Lord, save me,” and Jesus reaches out his loving hand and pulls him to safety.
I’ve read this story tons of times in my life, and I’ve always looked at it from the vantage point of what Peter did wrong, how he succumbed to doubt and fear. I’ve heard sermon after sermon that talked about how he stumbled in his faith when he took his eyes off Jesus.
But today God revealed to me a radically different perspective. He showed me all that Peter did right that stormy night so long ago!
First of all, Peter was the only one of the disciples who got out of that boat! When he asked Jesus to ask him to come to him, he wasn’t putting Jesus to the test and daring him to rescue him. Peter was responding in faith. It might have been a little bit impulsive, slightly reckless, but it was grounded in dedication and love for his Lord.
And then when things started going south on those stormy seas, when Peter got scared, he knew exactly where to turn. He turned his eyes back to his Lord as he called out to Jesus, trusting and believing that Jesus would, indeed, save him. Yes, Peter’s faith faltered, but he knew immediately what to do.
I love, love, love seeing how Peter did so many things right in the middle of his miracle!
It’s human nature to focus on what we do wrong, isn’t it. We are all really good at beating ourselves up. We stress out about every mistake, we promise we will never do it again, we get frustrated with our failures, and we drown in our doubts.
But seeing this story from a new vantage point, I feel so encouraged. Yes, Peter faltered in his faith. Yes, Peter took his eyes off Jesus. Yes, Peter momentarily gave in to his doubts.
But Peter rebounded quickly and did exactly what we need to do…..keep our eyes on Jesus!
Maybe you need a change in your perspective today, my friend. Maybe you’ve been walking on the water, enjoying a taste of success, and then the rug got pulled out from under you. Maybe you’ve started sinking in the middle of your miracle.
It’s way too easy to get caught up in looking at all the failures and forget how far we have already come. Today I encourage you to take some time to look at the wins in your life. Praise God for the times when faith has won out over fear. Rejoice over the times when you have been brave and stepped out of the boat, even if it’s only been for a moment. Thank Him for always being there to rescue you.
And then read the story in Matthew 14 again. Study it. Spend time with it. See what nuggets God has waiting for you as you change your perspective! Let God teach you and help strengthen your faith right here, right now, in the middle of your miracle!
Hugs and love,
Blog – 11-7-19