- Created on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:36
- Written by Al Dowker
God created each one of us with a plan and a purpose for our lives. He has a ministry for us to fulfill, and a life for us to live. Along the way there will be difficult times.
Most of us have read or at least heard about Jesus walking on water but possibly even more amazing is the fact that one of the disciples, namely Peter, did the same...until he went under. You can read about it in Matthew chapter 14.
Jesus had just spoken to thousands of people and hosted a dinner party for all of them. They had just finished gathering up the leftovers when in verse 22 he tells the disciples to get in their boat and start for the other side of the sea. He stayed behind to say goodbye to everyone and then he went up on a mountain to pray. He spent some time alone with his father to recharge for what was coming next. Do you see an example here?
By this time it was getting late, about 3 or 4 am, and the disciples were a long way from land. A fierce storm had come up and the wind was roaring across the water. Waves were crashing over the sides of the boat and they were fighting to keep going. Even for experienced fishermen like Andrew and Peter, this was a tough and frightening night. They may have wondered if they would ever see their families again. Shortly before dawn Jesus went to catch up with them. He didn’t take another boat or a jet ski, he walked. When the guys saw him coming they couldn’t tell who it was and it scared them even more. They were so terrified that they thought it must be a ghost. He immediately told them who he was and not to be afraid.
Peter’s response was, "If it’s really you then tell me to come to you on the water."
Jesus said, "Come."
Without hesitation Peter climbed out of the boat and started toward him, walking. Then he realized what he was doing and looked at the storm again...and started to sink. He cried out, "Save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
Wow! There is so much about the character of God in all of this. He didn’t even wait to see how long Peter could tread water. He just saved him.
Think about this. Have you ever gazed at a mountain lake at sunrise? The wind is calm, almost nonexistent and the reflection from the shoreline is vivid upon the mirrorlike surface. If you didn’t know any better you would almost think you could walk across that water. As a young boy, with the naivete’ of a child, I once attempted to "sail" across just such a surface on a cedar fence post. Needless to say, I came out drenched, and it wasn’t even storming. I wasn’t yet able to swim, and like Peter when he went under, as I began to sink toward the bottom of the lake, I cried out to the Lord to save me. You may never attempt to actually walk on water, but often in this life we find ourselves in situations that seem impossible to get through. If you watch the news enough it could scare you so much that you’d never want to leave your room.
A number of years ago the Lord called my wife Donna Jo and I into ministry. Soon after we began, we opened a youth center in our hometown. This was not something I’d planned for and it certainly wasn’t anything I ever dreamed I could or would do. It was as if I’d jumped out of the boat. I’d left my comfort zone and begun to serve God unconditionally. Figuratively speaking, I was, as Peter had done, walking on water.
About a year later I began to really think about what I was doing and it scared me...a lot.
I told myself, " I don’t have the ability to do this. I don’t have the time. We don’t have the money. Some people even treat us like we’re crazy."
"I CAN’T DO THIS!" I cried.
Dozens of questions swirled through my mind. Problems we began to face seemed overwhelming. I sensed the storm around me and I began to sink.
Not only was I floundering, but the ministry God had created me for began to suffer as well. And all for one simple reason. Like Peter, I took my eyes off Jesus. I tried to go ahead under my own strength and by my own wisdom, and it simply wasn’t working.
When I was almost to the point of giving up, I asked God to save me. And He did. He didn’t even wait to see how long I could tread water. :)
That was well over a decade ago and I’d like to tell you that it’s been smooth sailing ever since but the truth is that I’ve faced some really difficult times and I’ve had days when I didn’t think I could go any further but HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE TO HELP ME, to equip me, to provide in ways that can only be described as miraculous.
I’ve heard it said that a person with an argument is no match for a person with an experience. Have you experienced Him for real? So often we tend to blame God for our problems when the truth is that He really wants to help us walk through them and He is ready and able to save us from the destruction the enemy has planned.
What’s your story? Chances are you’re in the middle of a storm right now. It may seem like the ugliest hardest thing ever. I happen to be in one myself but I can tell you unapologetically that the solution is only going to come through Jesus and our trust in Him.
Jesus looked at them and said, "With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
If you’re facing something, trying to deal with something right now, ask God to help you and He will. Share your experience with someone. It just might help to save their life...and yours as well.
The rest of the story is yours to write...