Matthew 14:28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to be in the boat with the disciples when Jesus walked on the water? How would we have responded to seeing Him? Remember it was a very windy night and the disciples were struggling to survive let alone get across the lake. In the midst of it, they saw a figure walking on the water that was about to pass them by and were terrified. They thought it was a ghost. But then Jesus spoke to them saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Even then they weren’t sure it was Jesus as indicated by Peter’s response, “Lord if it’s you…” Isn’t it amazing that Jesus chose a stormy night – and not a calm one for this encounter. (Note: God does the same thing with us.) Imagine Peter’s excitement when he heard (above the sound of the wind and waves) the Lord say “Come”.
I wonder what went through Peter’s mind. Did he simply want to be with Jesus? Or was it more, “I’d sure like to do that!” Whatever, Peter didn’t allow the risk involved to stop him. Picture him trying to hang on to a bouncing boat as he got his legs over the side and then began to walk. Peter experienced an incredible wonder – before he began to sink. Remember the water wasn’t flat or calm but was wind-swept waves. Peter did walk on the water and came toward Jesus.
Then his focus shifted from Jesus and the wonder of what he was doing, to the adverse conditions around him. Although he did succumb to fear and begin to sink, Jesus was right there to rescue him. Peter experienced the miraculous because he responded to the opportunity that Jesus gave him. He didn’t allow fear to keep him in the security of the boat.
God uses the same principle in His dealings with us. In the midst of our often difficult circumstances, He will give us opportunities to respond to Him. We have to have ‘eyes’ to see the opportunities and the willingness to respond. In spite of the safety of the ‘boat’ – our lifestyle and circumstances that we are comfortable with – will we overcome our fear and the risk involved to respond to the Lord bidding us to come? It’s amazing the wonders He has for us to experience if only we will respond to Him.
Note: One of my favorite authors is John Ortberg. He has a wonderful book on this very subject that I highly recommend titled, If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.