Afraid to walk on water?

Have you ever passed up a chance to walk on water?

I think we all have.

Jesus showed up one stormy night (Matthew 14). He was walking on the water.

It’s one of my favorite Bible stories. I’ve always thought of it as a story about Jesus and Peter.

A few days ago I wrote about an event involving Peter and John (Which Peter Will Show UP?) So I wondered—where was John during the “water walking” incident?

Answer: John was still in the boat.

I always think about impulsive Peter who jumped out of the boat without considering the realities of what he was about to do. Or I judge faithless Peter who doubted even as he stood on the water.

I wonder what John thought when he saw Peter take those halting steps on top of the waves.

Maybe he thought Peter was an idiot. Maybe he thought trying to walk on water was the craziest thing he’d ever seen anyone do. Maybe he laughed at his friend’s rash behavior.

I don’t think so.

I think John wished he had Peter’s courage. I think he regretted cowering in the boat.

I think John wondered what it was like to take even a few impossible steps toward Jesus. I think he envied Peter’s faith.

I suspect that John always looked back at that moment and wondered why he passed up such an incredible opportunity. He had a split-second to decide, and he chose the safe, logical action. He stayed in the boat when he could have walked on water.

I know how John must have felt. I’ve missed a lot of opportunities because I didn’t step out of the boat. I didn’t want to risk failure, having people laugh at me. I didn’t want to be the impulsive fool.

It’s the safe way, the logical way. Sane people stay in boats during storms.

But you miss the chance to walk on water.

What’s one area in which you might need to get out of the boat?

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