Keeping my eyes above the waves

eyes about the waves

 

I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to have been in the boat as Peter was walking towards Jesus in the raging sea. I’ve wondered what would have been going thru my mind as I watched this scene take place. Would I have been excited about the fact that I was watching a man walk on water? Would I have been judging Peter for not having enough faith to make it all the way to Jesus, thinking I would have and could have done it better? Would I have even gotten out of the boat since, I’m assuming that the water was probably really cold? Regardless of those questions, the one thing I’ve wondered the most is how I would have reacted if Jesus had called me out onto the water?

Would I have gone…
Would I have stayed…
Would I have given excuses…
Would I have run…

This is a question we face in life all the time. Its the decision within a decision that we seem to run into countless of times. Regardless of the situation, this question dances in front of us, haunts us in our dreams, torments us in our daily living. For some of us, its an easy embrace, no panic, no worry. We trust in where its leading us, so therefore we do not fret. We are eager to go, willing to follow. For the rest of us, we hesitate, we stall, we procrastinate, we worry. We do not look forward to having to decide something that could change the entire complexity of our lives. So…

We run…
We hide…
We deny…

The story of Peter isn’t just a story of faith, it isn’t just a story about a man who walked on water and then began to sink. This story is about the decision we must face in life and the two ways we can embrace those moments. Peter’s story is my story, it’s your story. Peter’s story is the story of every living person, every living being, every believer, every follower. His story is our story and our story is his story. His story and our story are all apart of the story of our creator and his creation.

Our fear of making these kinds of decision comes from a deeply rooted problem in the nature of humanity. In an age long ago, mankind did not fear life, did not hesitate to leap before looking. Jesus could have called us out onto the water and without hesitation, we would have ran to him. However, somewhere along the way, we lost our identity in who we were. Our creation stamp was lost in the idea that we needed to know more about ourselves than who we were in our creator. We allowed fear, doubt, anxiety, worry into our lives, which blocked out the love, comfort, guiding of our creator.

So when the earlier followers of Christ were on the boat and had first notice someone walking on the water, they assumed it was a ghost. The scriptures tells us they were “terrified…”

Scared…
Perplexed…
Fearful…

They had forgotten who they were following in that moment. When they looked upon the waves, they didn’t see Jesus because their fear wouldn’t allow them to see Jesus. Its interesting because the same kind of language can be seen in the Garden of Eden. When a man named Adam and a woman named Eve had decided that what they had, their connection to the creator wasn’t enough, they sought to eat and know more. What followed was one of the greatest tragedies in humanity’s history. The disconnect with the creator began, thereby releasing fear, doubt, worry into the lives of every living creature. The dialogue between the creator and his creation reads something like this…

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Fear begins when we doubt…
Fear begins when we worry…
Fear begins when we hide…

When we lose sight of our creator, we lose sight of who we were made to be in him. Our identity comes from him, our strength, ability to decide, ability to see the whole picture comes from our creator. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to sink, we lose our way, we forget who we are. Jesus asked Peter why his faith failed him in the moment among the water? Peter doesn’t answer, but we can see that Peter took his eyes off of Jesus. Peter looked at the wind and became fearful, fearful of if he would sink, fearful if a shark would come eat him, fearful of life out on the water.

Jesus is calling every believer to live life among the waters. He is calling every follower to take a step off the boat. To embrace his calling in their life. To not be fearful of change or direction. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, there will not always be a clear light to lead the way. But we must know that if we keep our eyes above the waves, above the distractions in life, directly focus on Jesus himself, he will lead us to the promise of glory.

May you never be fearful in Christ…
May you never doubt in Christ…
May you always take a step off the boat…
May you keep your eyes above the waves…

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