The grace of Jesus not only saves us for eternity but empowers us to live daily for Him. Let us not forget the power within us when we feel stuck in the middle.
Have you ever tried something really incredible? Something you didn’t think you could do, but you tried it anyway? Have you ever done something that no one else is doing, but it just feels right to you and makes you come alive?
When I was a teenager, I loved water-skiing. The way the wind and waves splashed in my face as I skidded across the top of the water made me feel on top of the world. I know many people like to water ski, but when I was fourteen, I didn’t know any other kids my age who were getting up at the crack of dawn during summer just to master the slalom (one ski).
Sometimes today, I still have those slalom moments, where stepping into the incredible makes me ask myself, “Am I crazy?” I wonder if this is how Peter felt in Matthew 14 when he walked on the water with Jesus.
I love this story, not only because of the water, or that two people defied gravity and actually stood, walked on top of the waves, but because of the many ways we see God through this encounter.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, Jesus, after a full day of ministry, sends his disciples out onto a boat to cross the lake, so he can get some time alone to pray. He tells them he will join them later, but in the middle of the night, Jesus comes to them, walking on the water! The disciples are naturally terrified and imagine they have seen a ghost, but Peter shouts, “Lord, if it is really you, command me to come out on the water to you.” Jesus simply replies, “Come,” (Matthew 14:28-29).
Power for the Impossible
Peter, of course, gets out of the boat and begins walking on water toward Jesus. Walking on water! That’s amazing! No one on earth before or since has ever done anything like that. No tricks, no speedboats, no skis or ropes, just Peter and Jesus walking on the waves.
Peter inspires me in this encounter. I love his reasoning (Of course, if it’s really Jesus, he will empower me to walk to Him). I love his brazen request, and his boldness to step out of the boat! He may have spoken faster than he was thinking, but he didn’t go back on his word. Jesus said, “Come,” so he went.
Peter fully believed Jesus could make him do the impossible. And He did.
Do you believe God is the God of the impossible? That the same God who gave Peter the power to walk across the waves, can do the impossible for you?
Peter fully believed Jesus could make him do the impossible. Until…
In the Middle
Suddenly, Peter started looking around. He realized what he was doing was insane. He saw the waves lapping up against his feet, and with every splash, fear set in deeper and deeper until Peter started to sink.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Matthew 14:30, ESV
“Lord save me.” So often in my own life, my high faith, believing in the impossible quickly becomes, “Lord save me.”
Do I forget who called me in the first place? Who is responsible for this incredible miracle? I do.
So often, just like Peter, when I am in the middle, I forget that I am with Jesus. I forget that He is the One who started this impossible task and that He is the One empowering me to move forward. I get scared and I cry out, “Lord save me!” when Jesus has invited me to walk on water with Him.
How often do we believe that Jesus will save us, but forget He also empowers us?
Peter walked on water with Jesus and then cried out for Jesus to save him when he started to fall.
Grace Sustains in the Middle
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV
After they got on the boat, Peter was rebuked for his lack of faith. Where did Peter lack faith? Did he lack faith that Jesus would rescue him? No, not for a second. He lacked faith in the process, the middle. He didn’t believe Jesus could empower him to keep going when things got hard.
The middle is a wonderful place to be because there is grace and power for you in the middle.
God’s grace didn’t stop at the cross. It is by grace that we are saved, yes, but it is also by grace that we continue on. Grace is more than just favor, or not getting what we deserve. Grace is power!
Power Over Fear
I have a plaque hanging by my front door with the words “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” Those words come from the song, Oceans, by Hillsong United, and they are the echo of my heart! I want to push past fear, the unknown, the uncomfortable and awkward to walk on the water with my King. He has given me everything I need. And I can trust Him.
Don’t let fear rob you of the joy of walking on the water with Jesus. If you cry out prematurely, our good God will save you, but you may miss something amazing.
Let the words from this song wash over your hearts today. This is my prayer for all of us. And if you are in the middle, you are in a great spot, because you are standing with The King!
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger. In the presence of my Savior.
Oceans, Hillsong United