Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week 2 - A Perfectly Good Boat

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Matthew 14:22-32, NLT

Peter could well have been a raving lunatic. He stepped out of a boat, in a storm, at night. He didn’t even have a clear view that it was Jesus out on the water; he needed to yell to see if it was Him. And he surely couldn’t explain what he thought he was seeing – Jesus walking on the stormy sea.

We know from the whole of the story that Peter wasn’t crazy, but he was dispossessed of himself. When Peter stepped out, he let go of self-concern and left a perfectly good boat, a boat that Jesus had told him to get into just a few hours earlier. It would not necessarily have been disobedient for Peter to stay in the boat; he was right where Jesus had told him to be. But Peter was rightly focused on the Person more than the predictable path.

It is interesting to wonder what the disciples who stayed in the boat might say to us. Perhaps it might be this: “Don’t miss it. If you live with Jesus long enough, He is likely to invite you out into strange, uncertain places for the opportunity to experience Him in incredible ways. He does this just for love. And when He does this, very often, it will be your choice whether or not you draw nearer or remain where He put you. It may be more about desire than obedience, because ultimately, God wants our hearts, not just our good behavior. He may call you beyond the structure that He has given to your life; He may let you step out of a perfectly good boat.”

The Real Question: What good things in my life might God invite me to step out of so that I can encounter Him in a new way?

Family Talk: Talk with your kids about the difference between good, better and best. Give an example of giving up something good in order to receive something better.

ONE in Prayer: Lord, help me not to cling to the things that You have given to me or called me to more than I cling to You. I want to meet you wherever You are. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment