27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 29-30 He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” 31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” 32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
The Message (MSG)
We took our three children to the lake this summer and they all learned how to water ski. Our oldest, Jon Langley, even popped right up on the wakeboard and zipped all over the lake. He was a natural. Shea was determined and that kept her trying and trying until she had it down pat. Josiah, our youngest, was fearless as usual and wanted to join right in. We were both in the boat cheering and coaching as they each had their turn. We watched the younger one’s legs wobble a bit as they adjusted to the feel of “walking on water” and balancing on the rumble of wake streaming from behind the boat.
Always pushing the limits, our youngest wasn’t content to just be pulled. He wanted to jump the wake and get on the outside where you could really fly. As he attempted and fell several times, we would circle back around in the boat only to hear him shout, “I wanna do it again!”
“Stay in the middle,” we cautioned him, wanting to see him stay up as long as possible; but as soon as he popped up, he would venture over to that side wake, look down and fall. “Those waves are gigantic!” he cried out once we had circled back around.
From the safety of the boat it was easy for us to keep those small waves in perspective. But JoJo was out of the boat, his feet strapped in awkwardly long skis with only a rope to hold on to. We were helping with momentum in the boat but the balance and nerve were all up to him. I heard William holler out, “You’re doing great! You don’t fall until you look down. Those waves aren’t any bigger than others you have faced. Just keep looking ahead with your eyes fixed on us and not the water.”
Sure enough, he became a pro that day-jumping the wake, skiing for long runs and learning how to drop off when he was ready, right in front of the safety of the dock. For all three of them, the first step to skiing was simply getting out of the boat.
Throughout the past months of this radical life transition, we have felt the Lord coaching us and encouraging us in the same way. “Get out of the boat. Keep your eyes on me and not the circumstances around you. Strap on your skis and let me be your momentum. Come to me.” The call of God is the same today as it was for the disciples in the New Testament. II Chronicles 16:9 tells us “ For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Another version says that God is looking for someone to show Himself strong on their behalf. Praise God for that. We desire to be those people!
God has been so faithful to show Himself strong on our behalf, caring for every detail of this transition. When we knew that God was calling us to get up and go we began to make preparations by putting our house up for sale. It sat for almost a year with little to no interest. We continued to pray that it would sell at the right time to the right person for the right price but doubts were creeping in. As William’s final day of work at the church drew to a close we began to notice more and more the swells and waves all around us. Only a month to go and still no interest on our house. 2 weeks left. One week. Finally, only days remained. With one day of work to go, we received a call that someone wanted to come and see the house. The next day, William’s final day of employment at the church, we signed a contract to sell our home. To God be the glory! His timing is perfect and His momentum is steady. Our part is to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and watch Him do what only He can do for those who believe Him. We testify to the goodness and faithfulness of God. The journey has already begun for us and we look forward to what now lies ahead.