Walking on water and seeing how magnificent Christ truly is through an experience that only He can provide must have exceeded the very comprehension of Peter. In a moment of extreme obedience, Peter listened to the command of Christ to get out of the boat and place his feet on the water. Not to jump in because the water was great for a swim. Not to hang his feet over the edge of the boat as to dip his toes into the sea. Christ called this disciple to do the impossible and walk on water alongside the Creator of the Universe. Peter willingly accepted the command and followed it out onto the waves and amidst the wind. Maybe it was a minute or an hour, but Peter fell prey to the distraction of his surroundings and snapped out of the supernatural experience of walking on water with Christ to realizing he was a man walking on water. His fear and striving to control the situation caused him to sink.
I can relate to this story because I have walked on spiritual waters, though I don’t believe I would have had the faith to actually step out of the boat. What an incredible act of faith it was for Peter to step out of His comfort zone and do what he knew was humanly impossible. In a season of doubt and drought, I recently found myself taking strides to return to Christ. Metaphorically, I had recently stepped out of the boat where I sat protected by my own means, comfortable in my so-called safety from the world around me. While sitting in my man made boat amidst the God made universe, I found myself learning to trust Him more and respond to life in a way that would bring honor to Him rather than me. I found a peace to walk out among the storms of life, knowing that I could stand tall alongside Christ in it no matter what was surrounding me. But, much like Peter, the waves that I was just standing strong among distracted me from the focus on the foundation where I stood. It was not on Peter’s own strength that he walked on the water, nor had it been my own that allowed me to stand firm in life’s storm. It was the shift of focus onto God and away from me that allowed me to find strength and peace where I once found none. It was in Christ that I was able to stand firm. But sadly, as with Peter, in my humanity I failed. My attention was diverted from God and I began to sink. My arms were flailing and my head bobbing to find breathe in the middle of my selfish struggle for stability.
When I saw the waves I first responded by looking for a way to solve the problem. I looked to myself to find an answer and to gain control of a seemingly out of control situation. The only answer that I could find was how to sink faster. Only after taking uncountable gulps of the sea around me did I turn back to God to pull me out of my own despair. I say this all in hopes that you would find your strength in Christ. That when you think you have the answer, you would remember to go to Christ for the right one. Even when we begin to follow God’s commands, it is easy to become distracted and try to finish the act of obedience on our own power, especially those of us who tend to be control freaks. This weekend in particular we are remembering what Christ did on the cross for us by sacrificing Himself and conquering the grave as He rose from the dead so that we may have this relationship with Him. Because of what He willingly did for us, we have the ability, through Him and for Him, to walk on water.