“Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Matthew 14:28
It was over two years ago that I began walking on this path of the unknown (again). Trust me, I understand that life is full of unknowns, but there are specific landmarks and time periods that I am able to pinpoint knowing without a doubt God was calling me to trust Him.
In April 2008, I had the opportunity to share with a group of women about this journey. During that time, I was studying the account of Peter’s walking on water. For years, I looked at this story as an account of Peter’s failure, his lack of faith. With a judgmental finger, I wagged “How could he not trust Jesus to keep him afloat? How dare he focus on the wind!” The more I studied, the more I realized Peter was the only one in the boat who demonstrated faith, albeit shaky. With his characteristic boldness, he requested “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” And he did. As his surroundings changed (wind, waves), he panicked, looked away from Jesus, and began to sink. His cry, “Lord save me”, was answered by Christ, who immediately caught him while saying “Oh you of little faith, why do you doubt?”
I admit, I’m like Peter. Two years ago, I stepped out of the boat. I obediently left my job excited about what He had in store. But it was unknown. And the “season” lasted longer than I expected or desired. I only knew what I walked away from, completely clueless about what I was walking towards (I only knew “Who” I walked towards). Along the way, I had plenty of wind and waves – several closed doors, miscarriage, redirected steps, struggles with “funks” and depression. For a considerable amount of time, I focused much more on the wind and waves, futilely trying to figure out how to save myself. Unsurprisingly, it was all to no avail. Finally, I thought to call out “Lord, save me.” Like Peter, I was faced with the words “Oh you of little faith”. I vividly remember this because the same morning I re-read this passage, and several other passages highlighting people of “little faith”, a friend I had not communicated with in ages, randomly texted that she woke up believing that she needed to pray that I would have faith and trust God. Got it.
The problem with wind and waves is that they can keep you from seeing the shoreline and your destination. They tend to make you think things are far worse than they are. Waves change your perspective, and your orientation. They throw you off balance. Wind and waves can be dangerous, but they are also unpredictable and untrustworthy. That is why you don’t focus on them, but on the stability of the Rock.
I’d love to say that all of my unknowns are revealed. They are not. I will say that I have seen Christ’s hand grab hold of me time and time again as I walk. What I’ve also learned is that this “walking on water” isn’t a one-time occurrence. There have been (and will be) plenty of times when I am faced with the opportunity to step out, walk on water and trust God with the results (um, we are having a baby!) . Peter just watched Jesus feed 5000 men (not including women and children) with two fish and five loaves of bread. The temptation is to say “God, I know what you did that time, but this is different.” Truth is, circumstances change, but God does not. The same God who caught Peter, catches me, and catches you. The same faith that Peter needed to walk on water – we need to walk and live daily. I am not sure what lies ahead, but I’m still believing that the adventure is worth it, Ask Peter, after all, no one else in history has been able to say that they walked on water.