“Peter had the idea. Or maybe he wasn’t really thinking at all; I don’t know. But his instinct was right – ‘If Jesus is out there on the water, I want to be out there too.’” –Steven Furtick
When Jesus calls us to do something, we need to do it. No second thoughts. No questions as to whether or not we can. No excuses. The answer should be an immediate “yes”. This response should be foundational for every believer.
However, I think I relate to Peter in a special way. In this story of the storm on the sea, Peter and the other disciples were in a boat frantically fighting the waves. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. Now, it wasn’t Jesus who called Peter’s name and asked him to “Please come here.” And it wasn’t Peter who begrudgingly responded, trying to figure out how that was possible. The scenario is actually quite different.
My Bible says that when Peter saw Jesus, he cried out, “Lord, if it’s really you, call me to come out to you on the waves.” And Jesus must have thought that was alright, because He affirmed that it was indeed Him and that Peter should come. Then Peter stepped out. No thought about it; just a simple and deep desire to be with Jesus.
That should be the goal: to BE with Jesus, wherever He is and whatever He is doing. Whatever it takes. I wonder if that’s the point that we should be seeking in our relationship with God: not simply desiring to be obedient, but doing everything we can to be with HIM. There was really no other reason for Peter to go out to Jesus. There was no great task that needed to be completed. However, He found Himself in the midst of waves and his gut reaction was to be with Jesus.
Humanly speaking, there was no way getting out of the boat was the “safest” option. In fact, for most of us, that wouldn’t have even been an option. I don’t think that would have crossed my mind had I been in that situation. I can see myself clutching the boat with all I’ve got and crying, “Lord, save me!” No way on earth would I have been like, “Hey Jesus, ask me to come to you in the middle of this angry sea!”
I often wonder why Jesus picked Peter to be the rock of the church. Peter was a loose cannon, and you never really knew what to expect from him. In one breath he called Jesus the Messiah, and in the next he found Jesus calling him Satan and telling him to get out of the way. And Peter was unfaithful – he adamantly said that he would go with Jesus to the death, but at the first test of honor denied him three times. Jesus knew all of that would happen. So why on earth did He pick Peter to be the rock of the church?
I believe it is because of the attitude that Peter displayed in this story: a reactive spirit that wanted nothing more than to be with Jesus. I don’t think Peter was thinking at all in this story. He simply reacted, and his gut reaction was, “Forget everything else. Jesus is over there and I want to be there too!”
I am in a season right now where I feel like I’m flying out of control. I am in a constant emotional whirlwind. I am uncomfortable 100% of the time. However, I realized the other day that this is the best place on earth to be. There is a desperation inside of me to “just find Jesus”. I feel like the disciples in that boat – tossed to and fro, and totally freaked out. But there is something that happens in the midst of times like this: Jesus shows up, and He doesn’t show up in the boat, but on the waves. And I run to Him. It’s not to say that life wouldn’t have been easier if I would have stayed in the boat. But it is to say that I wouldn’t be so close to Jesus had I stayed in the boat. I wouldn’t be seeing these miraculous things. I wouldn’t be experiencing His presence like I am. Imagine if Peter would have simply stayed in the boat. He probably would have lived, but He never would have walked on water.
So what is my advice to you? Don’t think. Seriously. Don’t let your mind wander to the questions and the doubts about whether or not you can or how things will turn out. Just run to Jesus. Do whatever it takes to get to Him. It’s not the easy life, and you’re going to get wet. But don’t think. Just keep your: Eyes on Jesus, Ears on Jesus, Feet toward Jesus. Just do it.