Read: Matthew 14: 23-31
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 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?”
Several years ago we were in Northern California visiting some friends and as part of the trip, we went whitewater rafting on the American River with our friends. While we were never in any real danger, I can understand the fear of being pretty much at the mercy of the river.
In Matthew 14, Jesus sends the disciples away on a boat while he dismissed the people and then went to pray. While Jesus prayed the disciples struggled against the wind. You know the rest of the story. Jesus reassures the disciples and Peter walks on the water for a moment only to sink when he focused on his circumstances instead of looking at Jesus.
At least Peter had the courage to attempt to walk toward Jesus while the others stayed in the relative safety of the boat.
Back to the American River. During our whitewater rafting trip, one of our friends had only one goal – he was determined to stay in the boat. In addition to his life jacket, he literally tied himself to the raft so that he could not be thrown out by the waves.
How many of us live our lives safe inside our little boats? Are we missing an opportunity to walk on water? to see what God would like to accomplish in our lives?