Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Onto the water . . .


Recall the story about Peter “walking on water.” Peter was in a storm-tossed boat when he saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter thought that if Jesus would just call him, he, too, could to walk on water. And just then, Jesus calls out to him, but Peter still had to decide whether or not he would step out of the boat. Thinking Jesus might give him the ability to walk on water is one thing, but it was quite something else for Peter actually to trust that Jesus would give him the ability to do so. But the fact remains that the only way Peter can know is actually to step out of the boat. If his trust is well-placed, he will know for certain Jesus can do it. If his trust is ill-placed, then he will end up floundering in the water. The drama increases as Peter’s steps from the boat—the moment he put all his weight on the water—he entered a moment of no return. Either he would sink or would walk with Jesus.

Take note, however, that Peter didn’t jump out of the boat as soon as he saw Jesus -- he waited for Jesus to call him out of the boat. But once Jesus called him, Peter had to make a decision whether he would do what Jesus called him to do – he had to decide whether he would obey the call of Jesus. The demand for obedience to Jesus’ call put him in a place where his faith became real.

Jesus calls us to step into a new life—a life of faith. The call to become a disciple of Jesus – to follow Jesus – takes us out of the relative security of our respective boat and places us into a space of insecurity – the stormy waters of our lives. The miraculous thing about this is that what seems to the world to be a place of utter insecurity – relying totally on a God we cannot see – is actually a place of absolute security. If we remain in the boat because we feel secure there, we may fail to realize that the boat could sink in the storm and all would be lost. However, if we find the ability to “walk on water” because of our trust in Jesus, neither the boat nor the storm matter anymore. This letting go – the act of obedience to the call of Jesus – provides us with everything we really need in life rather than the things we think we need. With each step away from the boat, our trust in Jesus grows and we grow in our ability to do things far beyond our imagining. What boat do you live in? What are the things that you think bring you security? Where do you ultimately place your trust?

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