“In Jesus Name, Amen.” I came down from the stage, took off the headset microphone, and breathed a sigh of relief. I had just completed teaching the first week of an 8 week Bible study. I had expected to teach to a crowd of around 40 people,and around 80 showed up. The teaching had gone SO WELL and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I should be on cloud 9, right? Instead, I was an emotional mess.
That night, I could not sleep. I could see the room full of people. I heard the words I had spoken over and over. My insecure self, that Lisa that I have been trying to banish for 44 years, questioned everything that I said and did and made note of all of my mistakes. Why did I say THAT? What are people thinking about me? And what was I thinking, agreeing to teach an 8 week Bible study? Clearly I was NOT thinking. My stomach was a ball of nerves as I considered being on that stage again, seven more times, in front of all of those people.
Have you ever felt like you were in over your head? Have you stepped out in faith in an area and it is much harder than you imagined? Has God asked you to do something and you do not have the skills to do it? Are you walking in obedience and you are scared out of your wits because you are so unqualified?
The next morning, as I sat before the Lord, my stomach still a ball of nerves, I said, “Oh Jesus, I don’t know what I’m doing. Like Peter, I’m walking on water. I stepped out of the boat in faith, but now I’m terrified. Why, oh why, did I get out of that boat? Why didn’t I just stay there in comfort and safety? What was I thinking?”
Perhaps you are feeling the same fear that Peter felt when he got out of the boat. We see in Matthew 14 that when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were terrified and Jesus assured them that it was him. Peter called out to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind, he became terrified and began to sink.
At this moment, I think Peter was saying to himself, “What was I thinking asking Jesus to call me out of the boat? Why did I get out of the boat? Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut and stay in the boat? It was safe and comfortable there. There was no danger of sinking there.” He probably looked at his friends longingly and wished he were safe, like them.
We feel the same way when we courageously step out of the boat in response to the call of God. We obey and step out in faith, but when we do, it is really scary and uncertain. There are fierce winds and scary people and ample opportunities to fail. We see the dangers, and we start wavering in our faith. We begin to sink.
The beauty of the story is that when Peter began to sink, Jesus was right there with him. When Peter called out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched out his hand to rescue Peter.
When we step out of the boat in faith and walk towards Jesus, it is not going to be easy. It takes a boatload of courage. It is going to be terrifying and we will look back towards the boat with longing. But Jesus is right there in the water with us. And when we call out to Him for help, He IMMEDIATELY stretches out His hand and helps us.
We may be wavering in our faith, but Jesus is proud that we got out of the boat. He sees you wavering, but He also sees those who never got out of the boat and who are still safe and comfortable there.
He’s proud of you for getting out of the boat. Keep your eyes on Him.
How are you getting out of the boat, stepping out in faith, and walking on the water? Leave me a comment, or connect with me on Facebook.
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