That is what He said. A season of restlessness, questioning, doubts, and insecurities had led me to some deep soul searching and prayers for wisdom. “Just tell me what to do next!” had become the frustrated cry of my heart. The problem was not that God wasn’t listening or answering. The problem was that I didn’t like the answer.
“Get out of the boat.”
“Get out of the boat.”
I don’t even know what that means. What boat? I don’t even have a boat. Can You please be more specific?
(insert crickets chirping)
Peter knew a lot about boats. He was a fisherman, after all. So when Jesus asked him to step out of the boat and onto the water, He was asking Peter to leave the safety of what he knew and understood. He was asking Peter to take one step toward Himself. He would do the rest, but Peter had to take that first step out of the boat. It was a choice. It seems like an obvious choice to us, because we’ve read the book and we know how it ends. But what about when it’s you and me? When Jesus asks us to leave behind our safety nets, our bubble of safe people, our safe predictability and step out toward the unknown? I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking a lot of questions.
“Is this really safe?”
“Does this even make sense?”
“What will my friends think?”
“What happens after I get out of this boat?”
I find it so much easier to exercise faith on behalf of someone else than to actually put real feet to it in my own life. I am the biggest cheerleader of all when my friends are stepping out in faith. I am so confident in God’s plan for them. I am 100% sure He is going to be so faithful to them. So why then, when it’s me, do I suddenly question if He will be faithful? Why do I think for some reason He will stop being Himself if I dare to put my faith in His plan for my life? That doesn’t even make sense. But I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to sink. Fear pulls me back toward the safe haven of my little boat.
Obedience is always simple, but rarely is it easy. It usually costs us something that we hold dear. Surrender can be painful. And because we can’t see what’s up ahead we wonder if it is going to be worth it…
Then I take a look at the one who’s asking me to get out of the boat. The only Person who has never let me down. The only Man who has ever loved me perfectly and without condition. The only One who is only good… and then I look at my little boat and realize that without Him, it really isn’t worth much.
So, here I go. Sink or swim, I’m going to put one foot over the edge and then the other. Not because I am confident in my ability to do what He’s asking me to do. Quite the opposite. I am just going to do the one thing He has shown me for now, and wait on further instructions.
Is God asking you to “get out of the boat”? Do you struggle to let go of fear and walk in obedience? I would love to hear from you in the comments section, so we can pray for each other and cheer each other on!
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
See Matthew 14:22-33 for the rest of the story!