Friday, May 16, 2014

Get Out Of The Boat

Chuckle: "Its always darkest just before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it."
Quote: “Storms make oaks take deeper root.” --George Herbert
   "All right, come," Jesus said. "So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus" (Matthew 14:29 NLT).
Our passage is from one of the most revealing accounts of faith, doubt, fear, and trust in the entire New Testament.  As you recall, Jesus' disciples were in a boat crossing a lake on a stormy night.  About three o'clock in the morning, they were terrified by a figure walking toward them on the surface of the water.  After Jesus assured them that it was really Him and not a ghost, Peter asked to be invited to walk on the water toward Jesus.  Jesus' told him to "come."
God both causes and allows storms in our lives and always with a purpose.  There are storms designed for correction, like Jonah experienced when he disobeyed God by refusing to go to Nineveh as God commanded.  Then there are storms of instruction, like the one here in our passage.  Peter took a step of faith by stepping out of the boat.  By-the-way, In Scripture, only Jesus and Peter walked on water.  By getting out of the boat, Peter was learning to trust God and to grow in his faith.
But when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and saw the deep dark water and high waves, his human doubts and fears immediately replaced his faith and he began to sink.  What a powerful lesson for us.  By keeping our eyes on Jesus, our faith will sustain us in every storm of life.  Peter became terrified and shouted, "Save me Lord!"  Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don't have much faith," Jesus said.  "Why did you doubt me?"  Here, Jesus used the occasion to instruct Peter in what it means to have faith -- to trust your Lord in all circumstances.
Although you may start out with good intentions to do something God has asked you to do, sometimes, like Peter, your faith may falter and you become insecure and afraid.  But this does not mean ultimate failure.  Notice that Peter, in his weakness, reached for the hand of Jesus, the only one who could help him.  He was afraid, but he looked to Jesus for strength.  When you become apprehensive and doubtful during the storms of life you must sometimes endure, remember that Christ has promised to be with you always.  He is the only one who can help you.
Because of this adventure on a dark stormy lake, Peter experienced Jesus in a new and powerful way.  No matter what storm confronts you, just get out of the boat and trust Jesus.  We may be tempted to be critical of Peter for his lack of faith, but remember, he had the faith to get out of the boat.

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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