Confessions Of A “Water-Walker”:
Yesterday our pastor preached the third message from his series “Overcomer”. The message was based around Matthew 14: 22-33, and I left feeling inspired and encouraged to continue striving on, but it also made me think about how I personally view “water-walking”.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”“Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said,“why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I am a water-walker, or at least I try to be. I deeply desire to have a relationship with God, that is so radical, so sold-out, that no one around me would ever have to question who I follow. I want to see the power of God work in my life, and in the lives of others. I believe with all of my heart that God the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit are alive and active in my life, and the lives of other believers. I believe that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. I believe that he is the vine and I am the branches and if I remain in him and he in me, I will bear much fruit, and that apart from him I can do NOTHING!
As a water-walker, I have big faith, and big dreams, and I desire God to move in my life. But all too often I forget that life isn’t always about walking on the water, at least not the way I perceive it. There is a time for that, and God orchestrates those times, but walking on land is also a part of our walk with Jesus. The temptations Peter faced while on land were no different than the one’s he faced on the water. Walking on land requires just as much of Jesus.
This morning I was reminded of this when I was hurt deeply by someone I love. Their words and anger cut me to the core, and I knew that their behavior and attitude wasn’t at all glorifying to God, and then it happened. As I stood there nursing my wounds and my mind began to spin the Holy Spirit whispered to my soul “Will you walk on water, here, on dry land?” No one will see this, and it won’t be a great display of God’s awesomeness that others will talk about two thousand years from now, but will you walk with Jesus? Will you look to him, while everything within you cries out for a reaction. You so desperately want to retaliate, to seek your own justice, to get even, to make them pay. BUT will you walk on the water instead?
You see the truth is, even little acts of faith are like walking on water. It is not natural to respond to this kind of pain with love and forgiveness, it is not natural to show kindness when you are mistreated, and it is certainly not natural for the person who hurt you to step away and be convicted by their own sin when you don’t say a word because you are too busy walking with Jesus.
This is where I am challenged today. To stop looking ahead and stop looking for what I think water-walking experiences look like in my dreams (feeding orphans, missions trips, leaving behind everything to serve Christ in ministry) and to realize that life is an ocean and the waves are always crashing up against this boat I call life. To see that every single morning I can wake up and make a choice to step out of this boat where my needs are most important, where I want to feel loved, where it’s all about ME ME ME. I can step out in faith and live each and every moment for the One who won’t let me drown in life’s hardships.
So I turn to Him, and I thank Him for dying so I could have a Great Counselor living inside me, to remind me of all these things I forget. To remind me that the world may not see me walking on water, but my children and my husband do. So I praise Him for these moments that seem so small and unworthy of mention because they are the moments he uses to grow my faith, strengthen my trust, and change my heart.