I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
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As I sit here today with a cup of hot coffee in hand, I wish you were here sitting right beside me. Peter, I wish we could have this conversation face-to-face so that I could hear the pitch of your voice, see the spark in your eyes and finally understand. Perhaps I would see for myself what drove you to take the step you did that changed my perception of Jesus altogether.
You may not be here Peter, but your story is. Your words remain swirling in my heart.
You see Peter, your words grabbed me many years ago. Your story not only found its way into my teenage heart, but I had it tattooed on my ankle in college (a really cute guy may or may not have been involved with this event – and this said cute guy may or may not be my current husband).
But Peter, your story brought me purpose. You inspired me to live life outside of myself, to take risks, to live life to the fullest and focus on what is most important. All of these traits are great too by the way.
But all of these years I completely misunderstood your words. I missed the point behind your experience that night.
About a year ago today, I found myself questioning where I was headed in my life. The very destination I thought God was allowing me to cross disappeared in a whirlwind of physical challenges and major life changes. The finish line I literally saw within my reach, never came. The entire course changed. I stopped running because, honestly, I had nowhere to run to.
Life just stopped.
In the chase for achievement, I lost myself. I felt so completely devastated, confused, stuck but wanting to run forward to anything that wanted me.
Nothing seemed right.
Nothing brought peace.
I struggled just looking at God’s Word. I wanted to believe He was speaking, but everything felt dead inside.
Peter, it was right in the middle of all this uncertainty that God brought me back to your story through His Word. (Matthew 14:22-33)
Peter, you knew the sea of Galilee like the back of your fisherman’s hand. This was your world. You were born to live on the sea and you were good at it.
Yet, when Jesus told you to board the boat and cross over to the other side that evening, you listened to Him without question.
As the storm clouds came rolling in, you pushed through relying on your skill and knowledge of the sea. After hours of fighting, you and the others were soaked, tired and hopeless. Yet, you never abandoned ship. Peter, you never gave-up on the reality that Jesus had a purpose for you being here for this very moment. You continued to do what you were told as you waited for Him in the storm. I admire that about you Peter.
When everyone on board feared a ghost, Peter you saw Jesus. You couldn’t hold your excitement inside. You cried out to Jesus, drowning out the roar of the waves.
You heard His voice, the same voice that hours earlier told you to board the very boat that was now barely making it over the waves.
Peter, you saw the Carpenter’s hands that many knew could build this boat, but Peter you believed He could steer it safely to shore.
You saw more in Jesus.
Jesus saw more in you too Peter.
You may not have understood Who this Jesus truly was, but you knew at that moment He was worth being close to. In the middle of the storm, you knew your life, your understanding, your skill and your dreams were over. As you saw Jesus on the waves, nothing mattered more than just being with Him. It wasn’t a mission, a ministry or even a calling. Being with Jesus was just life.
All of you simply needed to be with all of Him. Period.
Somehow, I missed that. Somehow I thought this whole walking on water thing was about me, chasing what God wanted me to do with my life. It was about me, stepping out in faith, one shaking step after another. It was about me trying not to make the next big mistake.
But Peter, you showed me that walking on water is recognizing Who Jesus is (therefore acknowledging who I’m not) and simply wanting to be with Him.
It’s hearing His voice among the crashing waves.
It’s believing in Him to keep me safe.
It’s willingly and joyfully handing my life over to Him trusting in His plan over my own.
It’s about taking the next best step with Him.
It’s wholehearted all-out living in the here and now.
It’s surrendering what was, letting go of what could be in exchange for who He says I am right now.
Peter, you allowed Jesus to call you away from everything you knew so He could love you into everything He made you to be.
Peter, because of you, God has finally been able to still my heart from wanting to do more. In fact, the past few months, I’ve found myself in deep conversations with my Abba, even losing track of time while in His Word. In the same place that was dead inside, He has made alive with new Truth and a new identity that allows me to be loved and live loved.
“Thrive” for me has completely been redefined and I can’t wait to share more.
So thank you Peter for showing me that walking on water has nothing to do with walking out who you believe you are. It’s about being willing to take that next best step to allow Jesus to be all He has promised to be.
More to come soon!
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a wife to Steve and a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!