I'll Keep My Eyes above the Waves
This week I have been reflecting on the passage in scripture where Peter walks on the water. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it goes like this. Jesus sends His disciples ahead to their next destination, while Jesus goes up to a mountainside to pray. Later that night, Jesus goes to meet up with His disciples. Jesus starts walking on the water towards the boat. The disciples freak out thinking it’s a ghost. Jesus is all, “Relax. Calm down. It’s just me.” Peter speaks up and says, “Jesus, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus encourages Peter to come. The unthinkable happens. Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk on the water towards Jesus. Then, he sees the wind and the waves. He becomes fearful. He takes his eyes off of Jesus and begins to sink. He cries out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reaches out to catch Him and says, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?” Now of course, I paraphrased that story, but you can check it out in Matt. 14:22-23. I am realizing that I am often just like Peter. There are situations I encounter in life that require me to step out of the boat. Instead of fixing my gaze on Jesus, all too often I allow fear to creep into my heart, as I become aware of the waves and the wind all around me. It’s happened many times in my life. There are also times when memories of sinking in the past have kept me from wanting to step out of the boat at all. I have been more concerned with my safety than I have been with stepping out in faith.
God is teaching me that sometimes stepping out in faith, involves a simple change of mind. For me, it involves lying down at the altar my belief that stepping out will always result in me getting caught up in the waves. The truth is that when I step out, I may sink. I may sink a million times. But Jesus will always reach out to catch me. What’s more, He uses those moments to teach me how to navigate the waves. He uses those moments to train my eyes to stay fixed on Him. Like a child taking his first steps, bit by bit He helps me to gain steady footing and enables me to walk on the water.
I am done cowering in the corner of the boat. I am done with allowing my focus to be the wind and the waves. I lay my past, my present and my future in His hands. I am choosing to view the pain of the past as an opportunity for growth, rather than a setback. There is nothing I have experienced in this life that can keep me from the love of Jesus. There is nothing that can keep me from experiencing the fullness and joy of all that He has planned, purposed and prepared for my life. It is time for me to believe that, even when it’s messy, even when it’s hard, and even when the path is unclear. It is time for me to embrace each moment and each blessing as they come. It is time for me to be fully engaged in the moment that I am in, rather than allowing myself to be consumed with the fear of the future.
This the goal: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). He is the end goal. He is the prize. He is enough.