“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.” Matthew 14:28-29
I’ve been on a big kick lately where I like to read stories from the Bible and focus on the fact that the people in these stories were very real and normal people just like you and me. I think sometimes we get so used to hearing Bible stories, we don’t think about just how wonderful they really are.
This story of Peter is one of my favorites right now… what faith he must have had!?! He sees Jesus walking on water and says to him “Jesus, if that’s you, tell me to get out of this boat and walk over to you.” If you’re reading The Message, Jesus’ response is “Come ahead,” like He’s saying, “Come on then… you got this.”
And Peter just gets out of that boat and starts walking toward Jesus. Shortly after that, Peter gets nervous, doubts and starts to sink, and Jesus reaches out, grabs his hand and pulls him back up to the surface of the water. Most of the time when you hear this story, the focus at the end is on leaving your faith in Jesus, trusting Him, looking to Him, etc… I completely agree in the necessity of all of that, but I think one of the coolest parts of this whole story is the fact that Peter got out of that boat.
Peter was a real person. This is not a fictional story. He was just like you and me, in a boat in the middle of the sea. And Jesus told him to get out of that boat and walk on deep water, and he did.
I cannot get my mind wrapped around how much faith that must have taken. We’re not talking about “walking on water” like we do on the canoe dock after it has rained a lot at camp. We’re talking about actual step-by-step walking with nothing but water under him. Normal people don’t do that. But Peter did. And then later, when his faith started to fail him, Jesus was right there to save him.
Now I’m not saying we all need to go find a body of water and put our faith in Jesus and start walking. But God calls us all the time to do things that just don’t feel normal. Maybe it’s trying out that new activity that you’re really interested in that no one else thinks is cool. Maybe it’s taking on a job or a project that you’ve never tried before. Maybe it’s just being nice to that one person at school that no one else is nice to.
God is always asking us to do things that “normal” people just don’t do. God loves using “normal” people to do extraordinary things, because, when you think about it, we aren’t really normal people. We are people who have a Father who will pull us out of the water when it feels like we are sinking- all we need to do is have the faith to step out of that boat.
I love the song “Oceans” by Hillsong. I hope you remember singing it this past summer at camp. The chorus says, “let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me….”
What is God calling you to do that feels a little bit like walking on water? Maybe repeat the chorus of this song to yourself as you pray over it and remember that Peter was just like you. Will you let God use you to do extraordinary things? Be encouraged today to step out of that boat.