The Pressure of Walking on Water

I have stories to share from my life which I know God has written; beautiful events only God could orchestrate and also results from my own unwise decisions that only God could have restored. But, before I can collect the thoughts and emotions from my cavernous memory, I often lose my focus and drive. I end up writing nothing, ending up feeling defeated, deflated, and completely frustrated that I have this simmering desire inside me, with nothing to show for it. I’m reminded of the story of Peter who calls out to Jesus walking on the water in the middle of a stormy night. He asks Jesus whether he can come out of his boat to walk on the waves with him. Jesus doesn’t hesitate. “Come,” he replies. Peter must have been elated. How incredible to walk on top of the sea! What an amazing opportunity to perform this miraculous feat with Jesus. “I can’t wait for the other eleven to see me” I can imagine Peter thinking has he clambers out of the rocking boat. Then, his eyes catch a glimpse of the agitated waves, and the result is disastrous. The choppy skin of the water that should not hold his weight starts to claim him. Almost immediately, Jesus is there with his hand outstretched, pulling Peter up onto his feet, back onto the uneven surface of the tossing waves. Only after the two get back into the boat do the wind and waves calm down. For me, those waves have names: Comparison, Distraction, and Pride. I get distracted by looking at other peoples’ magnificent lives or stories or success and I start to doubt myself. I start to doubt my ability and whether I even have a story to tell. Contradictorily, I also wish I had a bigger audience with whom to share my stories. But I know it isn’t about me. When Jesus saved Peter from drowning, Jesus asked him, “Oh, you of little faith. Why did you doubt?” That sort of makes me laugh. I mean, Peter had enough faith to step out of that boat. The other eleven disciples thought Jesus was a ghost and were too scared to even talk to him. I’m not even sure I’d have been brave enough to ask if I could get out of the boat, much less kick my leg over the side of that rocking vessel. Peter certainly couldn’t walk on water either, but, he could do the impossible when his eyes and thoughts were on Jesus. The pressure is off. It isn’t about my (in)ability or (lack of) focus or the size of my audience. It’s about being willing to step out into the thrashing, foaming waves to meet Jesus where He’s walking. It’s about being obedient to His voice, taking one next step at a time, and keeping my eyes on Him alone. Those waves will still be out there, slapping at the surface, but as long as my eyes stay focused on my God who calls me, I will not sink.

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