SHE no longer fears the water.
I can’t swim. Actually no one in my immediate family can swim. Before you ask why? Or as my friend says, “...but how Sway?” Just know that I’ve taken swimming lessons, 3 separate times at 3 separate stages of my life, and the most I can show for it is a REALLY, awesome wade in 4 feet of water. Thankfully, I’ve survived the majority of my social life either by coincidentally surrounding myself with fellow non-swimmers or swimmers that never ask me to go swimming.
My greatest fear about swimming is being underwater. I feel completely helpless, because everything my basic internal instincts have taught me to survive: (1) breathe in. (2) breathe out, are essentially turned around and I’m now trying to unlearn everything within the 10 second time limit I allow my head to actually go underwater.
That’s what I find so interesting about the event in the Bible, where Peter walks on the water with Jesus. Simple background on Peter: he was a fisherman. Therefore, I can assume at least 1 thing: he could swim. Unlike me, he probably could do the backstroke, butterfly, and was the captain of his swimming team at Bethsaida High (Peter was from a town called Bethsaida in the province of Galilee...I didn’t just make that up).
“Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
This is the well-known excerpt that highlights the miracle of God allowing Peter to do something supernatural only through Christ Jesus. But what I personally have overlooked in the past, is what happens before and after this verse.
Jesus didn’t originally call Peter unto the water...Peter was the one that asked for God to show himself through something supernatural…
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
That ‘if’ in a sense was a test. The same kind of test you or I give God in times of fear and trouble, when we just need a sign that He’s near or in the midst of pain or heartache. My if’s have sounded like, “God, if you love me, then let me see it or feel it” or “If you are who you say you are, then you will open up this door.”
Right after, God calls Peter to do something out of his own strength, and he already begins to lose faith and distrust that God will follow through.
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.“You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”
I wonder what gave Peter the courage to ask God for that type of sign in the first place. As someone who could swim, it probably wasn’t completely out of his comfort zone to go into the water. Lord knows, I would have asked for a different sign that did not include anything aquatic. But how many times, have you ask God for things that may require you to step out of your comfort zone. But, the minute, he answers your pray, you begin to sink in distrust when things may not look the way you planned. Be honest, it’s a lot easier to branch out from somewhere familiar.
However, Peter quickly realized that his background and experience could not match to the reality that he was doing something completely out of his own abilities. So when he merely saw the wind, that was enough for him to lose trust and sight of the One who already allowed him to walk on water minutes before.
God loves it when we call out to him to do supernatural things in our lives, because it allows more of Him and less of us to be activated. But when He shows up, and calls us into the new waters, we have to realize that God doesn’t need our expertise to do whatever He said He would do, He just wants our faith!
Just like my fear of going underwater, I can no longer rely on my experience as an air breather to help in this situation, I have to do something completely unnatural to me. So in times, when we as Christ believers are completely underwater, out of our comfort zone, and doing things out of our own strength, remember that God now has you perfectly positioned to walk on the waters.
What situation in your life do you feel completely out of your element?
What is a distraction or "wind" in your life that is causing you to lose faith in God's plan for your life?
What is one thing you could differently do get re-focused?