October 30, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” - Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. - Revelation 21:1 NKJV.
I was listening to a song by the Christian group Selah yesterday about walking on stormy waters. I don't believe that I had ever comprehended what they were saying before. Here are a few of the lyrics:
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
(To read more of the lyrics or to find out more about Selah - go to Selahonline.com.)
Many of us have been struggling in the stormy seas for a long time. We are not walking on the waters, instead; we are struggling to keep our heads above water. The stormy seas we sail are not the Atlantic or the Pacific, but instead are the seas of health issues, relational problems, financial needs and more.
John Ortberg’s book “If You Want to Walk on Water You have to get out of the Boat” is a classic. For the apostle Peter to walk on water he had to get out of the boat. What faith that must have taken! How did He do it? He did it by faith. He did it by having his eyes on Jesus. What happened that made Peter begin to sink into the sea? It was when Peter took his eyes, his focus off of Jesus, and began to look at the waves tossed about by the wind that he stopped walking and started sinking.
We have our own seas to walk upon, or for many of us, not walking, but just trying to keep our heads above the waves. The wind is blowing us this way and that way. There are problems to the right, and there are problems to the left. There seems to be no end, with another phone call, an email, or the next day’s mail that brings an increase in the velocity of the storm.
How can we do more than keep our heads above the waves, above the water? We have to put those stormy seas into their proper perspective. They should not be the focus of our lives. We know that they are there, and they have to be dealt with, but it does not have to consume us. There is still life, real life to be lived. We walk on top of those stormy seas and live life by keeping our focus upon our Lord Jesus Christ. We maintain that focus through prayer, reading the Bible, being active in church, and serving Him no matter how high the waves around us may be. At times, we may begin to sink like Peter. When that happens, do what Peter did. Cry out to Jesus, and He will lift you up to walk on those stormy seas once again.
As the Bible closes out in the last pages of the book of Revelation, we have a great promise that some great wonderful day there will be “no more sea.” Someday the stormy waters of life will be gone, there will be a new Heaven, and a new Earth filled only with joy.