Lessons from Peter: Show some spine

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified.

“It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear.

Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”

“Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.                   Matthew 14:22-29

The disciples cried out in fear, and under similar circumstances, wouldn’t we all? I don’t know about you, but I’d be tempted to scream like a little girl. And, frankly, I imagine it would take more than a simple, “Relax, dude, it’s just me,” to get me to calm down. The boat was getting rocked by wind and waves. It was dark. They were tired, and although Peter, a fisherman, probably wasn’t seasick, there’s a good chance several of the other disciples were. And topping it all off is the “ghost!” But in the middle of that terrifying moment, Peter showed some spine.  Fixing himself on to the sound of Jesus’ voice, he summoned enough courage to trust Him with everything, and climbed out of the boat. Then Peter walked on water.

Most of us just want the storm to stop. Like the other 11 disciples, we fail to understand that Jesus is greater than our fears. When we concentrate on Him, we can accomplish just about anything, but it takes courage to realize that. No one in their right mind would get out of the boat in the middle of the storm, but Peter saw Jesus. And with His help, Peter walked on water. It’s a short-lived success; he gets distracted and starts to sink, but at least he’s not still in the boat!

Show some spine: fix yourself on Jesus, and get out of the boat.

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