We’ve all heard the lesson and seen the lovely images with the call to action about how we have to get out of the boat to follow Jesus.
And many of us do get out of the boat and then get bogged down in life and start to doubt and sink in despair. Some cry out to Jesus but others, too proud to ask, tread water and thrash and flail on our own rather than admit we need any help.
How far are you from Jesus?
Let’s look at how far away Peter was when he feared the wind and cried out to Jesus to save him:
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
I assume Jesus was only an arm’s length away. Certainly, He was close.
Peter looked away from Jesus. He saw the wind. He was afraid. He cried out to Jesus.
Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
Jesus is never far away. He’s always right there, waiting for us to cry out to Him.
And He will immediately catch us.
How often are we in a storm and overwhelmed with watching the wind and waves and rain in fear – and we don’t see Jesus right there in front of us? He’s waiting, watching us, ready to come when we call.
How often are we distracted by emails, tablets, smartphones, husbands, children, chores, friends, church activities, family events, social activities…
And we don’t see Jesus because of all those distractions. He’s waiting, watching us, ready to come when we call.
“You of little faith,” he said, “why do you doubt?”
We often start walking on the water towards Jesus. We begin on the right path, then we get distracted. We get confused. Why do we doubt?
He’s waiting, watching us, ready to come when we call.
Stop watching the wind. Keep your eyes on Jesus.