Water or Wood
When we encounter something in life that is unusual or unexpected, often our first emotion is fear. It is not something we have ever experienced before. But God has a way of teaching us a lesson that fear is never as strong as faith. Fear dissolves when faith develops.
This happened in the life of Peter and the disciples as recorded in John 6:16-21. The disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when they saw Jesus walking on the water towards them. They were even more shocked when Jesus invited Peter to step out of the boat and walk on the water to Him. They immediately thought that would be impossible for Peter to do. It was totally illogical and defied their way of thinking. They had never seen anybody walk on water before—not even Bear Bryant had done it!
Faith is not based on logic—it’s based on trust. Faith comes when we trust that Jesus is in charge and that everything is at His command—even the winds, waves, and waters.
When Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water, Peter’s faith was in the wood of the boat where he was standing. Jesus was asking him to trust that the water was more secure than the wood. How many times has Jesus called us to do something that we begin to logically conclude that we know more about security than Jesus does.
One of the reasons we never get to where God wants us to be is that we are more interested in staying where we are! Security is the question. Peter had to choose for his safety. Would he trust the wood or the water?
To walk on the water, Peter had to step out of the boat. He couldn’t keep one foot in the boat and one on the water. That’s how many people want to follow Jesus. You can never follow Him if you keep one foot in the boat. Jesus has a purpose for your life. That purpose takes a risk, but the risk of following Him leads to a far greater reward. If you focus on the risk, you will stay where you are. If you look at the reward of following where Jesus is leading you, you are ready to step out.
Peter stepped out and discovered that the water was as secure as the wood. But he started enjoying that success and took his eyes off Jesus. When he saw how huge the waves were around him, he started to go under. Success always carries with it the danger of thinking that we are making something happen rather than Jesus.
But as Peter was going under, he made the shortest request recorded in the Bible. He said, “Lord, save me.” It’s short, but powerful and to the point. It’s a request that each of us has to pray.
The worst thing in life is to try to save yourself—the best thing to do is to ask Jesus to help you, and He always will. God reached out and put him back on top of the water. Jesus has a purpose for you and will give you everything necessary to fulfill that purpose. Don’t be afraid to cry out today, “Lord, save me.”
Peter made two important choices that day—water or wood and asking for Jesus’ help rather than his own. I believe those two decisions prepared him for his later leadership in the early church.
Is your security in the wood or the water? Are you willing to take both feet out of the boat and stand on the water? Are you willing to cry out to Jesus to save you? Are you willing to see fear changed to faith?
Are you standing on the wood or the water today?