Take that First Step

Matthew 14:22-33 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It talks about Jesus walking on the water. After feeding the 5000, Jesus sends His disciples in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. After He had sent them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.  Several hours later in the night, the disciples encounter a storm. Jesus comes to them, walking on the water. The disciples are terrified not knowing its Jesus. Jesus tells them, “Take heart! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter replies, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus invites Peter to come. Peter gets out of the boat and begins walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and sees the wind and waves, he begins to sink. Peter cries out to the Lord and Jesus immediately reaches out His hand and catches Peter saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  As they climb into the boat together, the storm ceases. Then the disciples worship Jesus, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

We get a lot of things from this passage that we can meditate on. The first thing that struck me is we’re so busy looking at our problems that we sometimes don’t recognize the Lord when He comes to us in the middle of our “storms.” We think we can handle everything on our own, but the truth is we can’t and we’ve just got to hold on to Jesus because He has it all figured out. Peter had the faith and trust in Jesus to walk on water which is truly scary and intimidating. It was in the middle of a storm but he still decided to take a step of faith trusting that God will direct his steps. That is just what God wants from us, unshakable faith.

But later in the passage, we read that for a split second Peter loses sight of Jesus, the one who was keeping him above the waves. He starts to look around at the storm and that is the moment he started sinking. But as soon as he calls out to the Lord for help, he was lifted to the place of security again. Taking our eyes off Jesus, and focusing on the difficult circumstances will cause us to get under our problems. But when we cry out to Jesus, he catches us by the hand and raises us above the seemingly impossible surroundings.

Finally, we see that when Jesus gets in the boat, the storm ceases. When we have Jesus “in our boat” the storms of life will be calmed and we can worship Him.

We all know that life is full of doubts. But many of us try to swim through the problems on our own. We need to realize that the real safety and strength lies with God who charted out the course in the first place. He’s never failed us. We must take a step of faith towards God’s will for us which means we’ve got to trust Him even as we walk on uneven waters.

We will go through difficult, faith-testing circumstances in our lives. But we must not sink into despair. Instead, we must look to Jesus and His miraculous power for help. Let us just trust God with all our heart and believe that He’s going to take care of us along the way.