“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Beach on Long Island. It was a beautiful day, and the sun was shining. 90 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. The beach for me is a great place to relax and recharge. I enjoy walking/running on the shore and cooling off by playing in the ocean. I find the whole experience rather refreshing.
People watching is always a fun past time at the beach. One quick observation I made is that those who immerse themselves in the Ocean appear to have much more fun. It’s safe to say about half the visitors don’t even step foot in the water. They prefer laying in the sun, reading books and sleeping. All of these activities can be enjoyable and necessary at times; however you will never fully experience the joys of the ocean simply by lying on the shore. While others are swimming, jumping, surfing and giggling like little kids; everyone else just stands on the sideline and observes. There is nothing wrong with beach goers finding a place of rest; however you can clearly see these folks don’t have the same experience. Getting knocked down by a crashing wave and allowing the cold salt water to hit your face is something that can only be experienced. The rush of the ocean makes one feel awake and fully alive! Unfortunately I never see the same excitement and joy from those who are by the shore. To take part in this adventure you can’t read about it, you can only test the waters for yourself.
Sadly many of us do this on a daily basis. We observe others experiencing great exploits; while we sit on the shores of life “waiting on God“. I firmly believe there are seasons when everyone needs to sit, rest and study. However, I also feel there are seasons when everyone needs to apply the wisdom in scripture by taking a step of faith and believing in expectation. I enjoy reading about other people’s experiences; but I also believe God chose to put me on this earth to have a few of my own…
The Disciples nearly had a heart attack when they saw Jesus walking on the water. The scripture says they were terrified and thought they saw a ghost. I can’t even imagine saying that out loud, “It’s a Ghost“, haha… Often times the calling on your life can scare you half to death and may even look impossible. I would imagine this is why the rest of the disciples choose to stay on the boat. It represented a safe and familiar place for ordinarily fisherman… But Peter desired to experience something greater with his Creator. Suddenly his spirit came alive as he cried out and said “Lord if it’s you, “tell me to come to you on the water…”. Peter took a step of faith. He risked his life and followed Jesus out onto the water. While everyone else watched, Peter experiences the impossible and does something miraculous.
Do you find yourself standing on the shore or just sitting in the boat? What is Jesus calling you too that you have been too terrified to try?
I love that we serve a God that desires we “taste and see” his goodness. He doesn’t want his followers to just read about him, but to experience his creation that he made for us. The Bible teaches us that “In his presence is fullness of Joy“… That doesn’t mean life will be easy or that there won’t be times of uncertainty. It simply means that his presence can give you joy in the journey. As we walk closer to our purpose, we need to remember that he is with us. Like Peter, you may fall down. Life can get messy and may not go according to plan, but always remember that Jesus is always right by us to pick us up. Today I encourage you to get into his presence and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you out onto the oceans of life. It’s something special that can only be experienced when you fully trust him by stepping out in faith. “Take Courage!”