Called To Courage
by Impact Church
“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.” (Matthew 14:28-29)
As a child I was afraid of the dark. In an effort to maintain complete transparency I’ll tell you- I slept in my mom and dad’s floor until I was thirteen years old. Unfortunately my daughter, now three, exhibits some of my same trepidation about the dark. Every night, like clockwork, I hear her cry into the monitor asking for “mommy” so paralyzed by fear that she won’t even get out of her bed. Once I go in and remind her I’m there the fear dissipates and she falls back asleep. I never turn on the light during this exchange. The darkness doesn’t change but my being with her in it changes the way she perceives it. When I’m there her fear of the unknown loses its power. The same was true for Peter in the passage noted above.
This portion of scripture occurs right after Jesus performs the miracle of feeding the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus goes up on a mountaintop to pray and sends the disciples ahead of Him in the boat to the other side. Later Jesus is still on land when the boat begins to be tossed around by the wind a considerable distance from the shore. Jesus walks out to them on the water and while all twelve disciples see Jesus Peter is the only one that seizes the opportunity that surely was extended to each of them- to do something extraordinary with The Lord. Here’s the truth – Jesus has extraordinary things for each of us to be a part of; those things which are mind-blowing, miraculous, that defy all logic. Undeniably, this was one of those types of things. The invitation to come wasn’t limited to Peter. Jesus issues each of us the same invitation today.
Be aware, however, that our enemy means to keep us from accepting the invitation to come by entangling us with fear. Fear convinces us to avoid taking unnecessary risks. It keeps us bound to a safe, secure, predictable, tame life void of wild adventure with our Savior. While fear is a common trick of the enemy I submit to you that as believers we do not have to give it a place in our lives. Jesus himself waged an all out war against it. The gospels alone list some 125 of these instructions. We are urged to “not be afraid,” “have courage,” “take heart,” and “be of good cheer.” If repetition is any indicator then we know that Jesus takes our battle with fear seriously. Time and time again, He calls us to courage.
God desires for each of us to walk fearlessly into our destinies and not remain in the boat paralyzed by fear. I can imagine that the disciples looked back on that moment and wished they had of taken the courage Jesus offered and dared to step into the unknown. While Peter’s testimony of walking on water was not void of mistakes I commend his courage to step out onto the water. In the middle of the night with the wind whipping around him and water crashing around his feet he stepped out of the boat to do something he had never seen done before. There was no “how to walk on water for dummies” manual. He had no formula, method or experience to compare it to. I wonder if his knees were knocking, his hands were shaking and his heart felt like it might burst out of his chest. Regardless, out he stepped into the water, where Jesus was and became a part of something we are still talking about today. Knowing who was with him in that moment rendered his fears of the unknown powerless. He didn’t miss his moment. He stepped out knowing that He wasn’t alone. We aren’t alone either.
Perhaps you’re in the middle of a storm in your own life and you have begun to calculate the risk associated with stepping out in the middle of these less than favorable circumstances. Be encouraged. The absence of a storm is not what sets us apart. It’s in knowing who is with us smack in the middle of it. Like Peter, we know He is with us in both the sunshine and the storm and that powerful truth gives us the power to conquer any fear the enemy tempts us with. I imagine Jesus standing on the water today calling us to courage by issuing one simple invitation- “come.” Let’s get out of our boats with courage and confidence and step boldly into the extraordinary He has planned for us. He is there and that’s all the assurance we need to walk on water.