Life in itself is a tumultuous sea, but the only time you ever sink is when you take your eyes off of the prize — the prize being our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us explore this idea in greater depth as we turn in our Bibles to Matthew 14:22 – 33. This particular passage of scripture largely details Peter’s experience of walking on water with Jesus Christ; today, we may compare walking on water to attaining great accomplishments. Before we get to the exciting meat of the text, however, there are a few other points along the way that we would be greatly disadvantaged to overlook.
First, one must be prayed up before he or she can even dream of walking on water. I would like to bring your attention to verses 22 and 23 which read:
“22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” (KJV)
Take note that even Jesus, the Son of God, makes a point of separating Himself from all distractions to spend time with The Father: one-on-one, in private. Translated into today’s terms, Jesus did not pray while He had the radio on. He did not read the Sunday School lesson while watching TV at the same time. He did not try to seek The Father in prayer in the middle of the grocery store. He sent His disciples away along with the multitudes, entered a private place, and there engaged in fellowship with The Father. Jesus, as our example, is showing us what we are to do as His followers. Of course, we can call on the Lord no matter where we are or what we are doing; that is the wonderful God we serve. However, an essential part of keeping our eyes focused on the Lord and what He desires of us is setting aside private prayer time in a private place where we can hear what the Lord has to say.
Secondly, we must remember that storms on the way to our success help us to grow.Recall that we can equate walking on water to making accomplishments. As we proceed to read, we find that the disciples, who not too long ago boarded a boat, are now in the midst of stormy seas. You will notice in verse 25 that although Jesus knew of the trouble that had befallen His disciples aboard the ship, He did not go to their rescue until “the fourth watch of the night.” Jesus was giving His followers a chance to exercise their faith and grow stronger in their faith before swooping in to save them. The same applies to us when we go through trials in life. We cannot grow spiritually if we are never challenged. All the same, it is also important to note that Jesus did not let any harm come to them in the meantime. God will do the same for us.
Thirdly, we must know what God looks like so that when we call for His help in the middle of a storm, we know His life boat when we see it. I can only imagine that in the midst of the storm, the disciples were calling on Jesus for help. In verse 26, however, we learn that the disciples did not recognize Jesus when He walked out onto the waters to see about them. We also pray to God when we get into a fix, but are we able to discern the face of our true rescuer in the midst of this crazy world? Christians need to be able to exercise a spirit of discernment in order to tell Godly advice from worldly advice and real solutions from fake solutions. And how do we do that? By staying prayed up and rooted in the word of God.
Now we have arrived at the “juicy” part of the text — the disciple, Peter, walking on water. While the other disciples questioned if the man walking on the sea was really the Jesus they all knew and loved, Peter came up with a better idea. He said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” In response, Jesus said, “Come,” and low and behold! “When Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (verse 29). What allowed Peter to achieve this inconceivable feat? None other but his faith and keeping his eyes on the prize. This fact is affirmed when Peter begins to sink after focusing more on the storm than on the Lord and allowing doubt to creep into his mind. The scriptures read:
“30 But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (KJV)
We can only walk on water when we keep our eyes on the Lord and stand on faith.Those are the vital keys, in addition to being within the will of the Lord. When we have those things down, we can do ANYTHING. Furthermore, we know we have nothing to lose. Even if we, in all the glory of our humanity, should falter, God is quick to stretch forth His hand to catch us.
Have a blessed day!
The founder of Your Black Poets, Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. Click to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.