One of my favorite books is John Ortberg’s, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. It’s built around the story of Peter walking on the water.
Imagine for a moment what it must have been like for Peter to step out onto the waves in pitch darkness with a storm howling around him.
Ortberg says, “The water is rough. The waves are high. The wind is strong. There’s a storm out there. And if you get out of the boat—whatever your boat might happen to be—there’s a good chance you might sink. But if you don’t get out of the boat, there’s a guaranteed certainty that you will never walk on the water.”
When life gets difficult we all have a tendency to hunker down and take fewer risks. We shift our focus to preventing further loss, guarding what we value, and maintaining the status quo.
But then along comes Jesus at the most inconvenient time and He asks us to take a leap of faith we never expected—especially not right now.
In those moments, we have an opportunity to walk on water but doing so requires stepping outside of our comfort zones. Ortberg says, “Your boat is whatever represents safety and security to you apart from God Himself. Your boat is whatever you are tempted to put your trust in, especially when life gets a little stormy.”
In the biblical story, Peter decides to take the risk. We usually stop just after that when Peter begins to sink and Jesus reaches out his hand to save him. But I’m fascinated by what happens after this. The next verse says, “When they climbed into the boat, the wind died down” (Matthew 14:32).
Have you considered what that verse is saying between the lines? Peter got to walk on the water with Jesus all the way back to the boat! And when they made it, the storm subsided.
Jesus may be asking you to step out of the boat in some area of your life today. You look around you and think, “Not now, Lord! Wait until things settle down!” We’re not sure about walking on water in general, but if we’re going to do it we’d much rather have the lake as smooth as glass and not even a breeze blowing.
But if you dare to take that step of faith despite your fear, it may be the very thing that brings you closer to Jesus, lets you experience more than you ever imagined with Him, and perhaps even leads you to the moment when the storm finally subsides.
Does it feel like Jesus is asking you or someone you care about to take a step of faith with Him? If so, leave a comment and I will pray for you (I’d appreciate your prayers too).