See if you recognize yourself in this story:
Twelve men are in a little boat during a storm and being battered by waves. They see Jesus walking toward them…on the water. At first, none of them move because they are afraid, confused and shocked by what they see. Then, in a show of amazing faith, one of them becomes the hero when he steps out of the boat and actually walks on the water…just like Jesus.
Then the wind blows hard, and seized again by fear, the man looks down and begins to sink. As he does, he calls out to Jesus for help. Jesus immediately catches him and says, “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mark 14:31).
And the moral of the story is…drum roll please…. “If you have faith and don’t look down or doubt, keeping your eyes on Jesus at all times, you too can be the hero who walks on water, just like “Peter” did.
But what if you are not as heroic as Peter?
What if you are one of the ones who remain in the boat frozen in uncertainty? What if you are the one shocked, confused or content to just watch it all unfold? Afterall, we’re only human and there is a “man walking” on water.
Then again, maybe you are brave enough to step out of the boat and into the unknown – a new relationship, new job, or new direction in life. Maybe you are heroic enough to defy the storms of cancer, lupus and other illness or disease. Maybe you’ve taken that first step, but doubt got the better of you and now you’re sinking -in debt, relationship problems or loneliness.
Truth is, I’ve been every one of those characters at one time or another in my life. And I’ve heard all the lessons taught using this story and so many others that emphasize, not who I am, but who I should be.
I should be the one with amazing faith to walk on water… the one who overcomes faster than a speeding bullet, who prospers financially, casts out demons and leaps tall buildings in a single bound. I should be the one whose eyes are always, always, always fixed on Jesus. I should be the one who makes my way to Him every time without delay. With no second thoughts or murmurings, my faith should take me boldly out on that water and I should stand tall…cause that’s what faith does, right?
Wrong. Faith is not an all or nothing deal and doubt is not the same as unbelief.
Notice that Jesus didn’t say that Peter had no faith; He said that Peter’s faith was little. He didn’t ask Peter, “Why didn’t you believe?” He asked, why did you doubt?
Each of us will at one time or another experience varying degrees of faith, uncertainty and times when we cry out to God to save us. And it’s ALL good! Because although walking on water at any time is pretty cool, what’s missing from our lessons is what happens on either side of Peter’s little stroll…it’s that Jesus came toward HIM…to save him.
And so the moral of the story is not that we need enough faith to walk on water without doubt. It is that whether we are in abundance of faith or in doubt, whether we are in a boat on the water, walking on the water or sinking under it, no situation or circumstance will deter God from drawing close to us. The hand of God will find you in even the darkest waters.
This is a story, not of heroes of faith making their way to Christ but of Christ drawing near to each of us in the midst of our storms … FAITH you see, is the confidence that GOD WILL draw near to us, and save us…every time!
And that my friends, makes quite a splash!