27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I feel like this is a moment in transition for a lot of people. The lives of my peers are more dynamic than ever…parenthood (I see you Hayley and Steve), marriage (Congrats Mike Baker and Mike Brown on your respective and forthcoming nuptuals), our heroes are rising/falling and hell, I’m finally starting my career. It is in these times that I feel more pressed to be faithful than usual because it is in these times of transition that I feel the way that I’m sure Peter did. Looking out at that ocean, hearing the comfort in God’s words, but still human and in full admission that we may not be fully confident in ourselves to complete certain journeys. I’m sure that by now God gets it…our bites aren’t half as good as our barks are.
People dedicate full time jobs to mitigating risk. Countless company hours are spent designing blueprints for alternatives just in case things go awry. We have insurance, we budget, we write bucket lists…all to detail the prospects of future plans/successes/shortcomings. But, with that said I feel like the more we plan, God truly does laugh. A good bit of us have created a reluctance to simply walk out on the water. Most of us aren’t even willing to chance the possibilities, but would rather sit on the ship and wait for the storms of life to tear the decks apart. Either that or wait to be rescued…even if it doesn’t come in time.
“…and the moments I thought I failed…I was reminded of your nails…” – Smokie Norful
A lot of us are content with being able to take what life gives you as opposed to going out and striving for what God has for us simply because there is a risk of failure. We question the possibilities, are skeptical of those that offer the opportunities for greater things, and chide those who fail. I decided to only share word of my departure from my job with the people at work that I cared for the most and ironically, I walked away from a lot of those conversations after I told them disappointed. They were happy for me and that is great, but I was more disconcerted by what I heard after… The whole “I want to leave too…but” or “One day I’ll be able to get out of here…” talk. People were talking to me like I was Peter…about to get off of this boat and about to walk on water…the worst part of that is that they made it seem as if me walking away was doing the impossible, as opposed to it being what God intended. Frustrated…I just wanted to grab a few folks like, “YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!!!!” The noise became so loud that for a few seconds prior to accepting the job officially, I questioned it…I began to feel as if I was doing something wrong and slowly…I sank. This feeling, in spite of the fact that I KNOW that God made a way for me to succeed, I stand at the rim of change feeling as if I would perish. What a sucker.
People often speak of their faith in their blessings. They confess it with their mouths, but rarely do most of us act on it. We always groan for the opportunity for greatness, but when it comes we act as if it is a dead alien body in the backyard. Instead of walking on the water as we are instructed, maybe we prefer that God construct a bridge for us to scamper across instead. Not gonna’ happen. The only way that we come face-to-face with what the promises of what God has in store for us is to traverse the uncertainties of life and walk towards him. That isn’t always easy. The rain will make it impossible to see, the winds may cause you to lose your balance, the waves will stir your consistency…but…there is only one way to save yourself. Sometimes that even means walking out into the current when the water is calm and comfortable. It is necessary to shake things up to break the monotony of the moment. That may require a revolutionary stance. Emptying out your savings to pay off some debt, taking a vacation without planning for it for half of the year, walking away from an eroding relationship, quitting your job to start a new one that pays a little less, or adding to your family are all things may not be without risk but don’t lack reward either.
By this point I feel as if I’m rambling and if you don’t get what I’m trying to say by now maybe it’s not time for you yet. I start my new job next Monday. It is not everything I want in a job, but it’s a step in the right direction. It is my opportunity to walk on the water as instructed and with no apprehension, I plan on not only walking, but running across to embrace the possibilities ahead. Sinking is not an option…