Hardly a day passes by that I don’t look at this page and wonder, “Do I really want to write another post?”
“C’mon Larry, you can do it. Just get out of the boat and walk over here to me.”
The story in Matthew tells me that Peter did indeed get out onto the water and walk toward Jesus. But, then, fear set in. “What if the waves overcome me, what if the winds blow the boat farther away from me and I won’t be able to return safely? What if Jesus disappears from sight into the depths of the sea? What if Jesus is not who he says he is and I am left to fend for myself? What if all those people on the shore see me and laugh at me? Oh Lord, I can’t swim.”
What’s that you say? You always trust Jesus. Really?
Would you trust Jesus enough to drop your nets and your livelihood, leave your family and become essentially a homeless beggar? Would you trust him enough to risk imprisonment and death by preaching his heretical beliefs? Would you trust Jesus enough to move to the poorest of slums in India and minister to the poorest of the poor as Mother Teresa did?
Truly? Well then, undoubtedly you would also have answered “Yes, I know this man, he is my Lord and Savior,” when questioned three times if you are not a follower of the man inside being sentenced to crucifixion. The cock would never have crowed three times for you.
Aren’t we amazingly hypocritical? I know I can be. I can talk the talk but many times walking the walk is too difficult or dangerous. I’d rather hang in the background with the crowds making small talk, small acceptable talk. I’d rather focus on problems of the world instead of proclaiming the beauty of the universe dwelling within. It’s who I am.
People will jabber incessantly with me about the price of potatoes at the grocery, the climate challenges we are facing, the lack of civility amongst Americans, but, when someone mentions Jesus and God, “Oh, I’ve really got to run, my favorite soap is starting in 15 minutes,” or, “I’ve got my own beliefs and we like our church. See ya.”
No, no, no! I don’t want to talk about your beliefs or your church. I want to talk about your faith and your heart, your good heart. What makes you tick? What gives you reason to get out of bed in the morning? More importantly, what keeps you from walking on water? (And if you can walk on water, please tell me how you do it.)
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:29
The writers of Matthew also tell me that faith as small as a mustard seed will move a mountain. In the physical world that is virtually impossible. But, within my inner sanctum a flicker of faith the size of a pinhead can overcome enormously mountainous obstacles of anger, aggression, depression, anxiety……addiction. I don’t know anything about moving Mt. Everest, but let me tell you what just a smidgen of faith in Jesus has done for anger issues, depression, alcoholism. That faith makes walking on water nothing more than a Sunday picnic cake walk.
Bingo! Its’ an inside thing, isn’t it? When I look over the side of my boat surrounded by despair and hopelessness I have two choices; 1) I can stay chained to my oars of self-doubt or 2) I can jump out onto the water and trust in something of much greater substance than me. Call that hand extended over the water beckoning to you whatever you like; I will call it Jesus.