You might have heard of the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United.
I have heard some say that you shouldn’t sing that song either individually or as a congregation if you don’t mean to take the lyrics seriously.
Kind of that ‘be careful what you ask for’ stance.
Now, water walking can look different for each of us. But it will always be a place of stretching, a place of growth, of preparation, and probably a little anxiety.
In Matt. 14:24-31, the disciples are on a boat in the middle of the Galilean sea when a storm happens. And of course Jesus, seems to be nowhere and the disciples feel alone. Then suddenly, through the wind and rain, they see someone walking towards them on the water. Of course they are frightened, they don’t know quite who or what it is. Jesus is far enough away to not be seen clearly. But Peter being quite bold, asks, “If you are Christ, bid me come.” And Jesus does just that.
Peter, being Peter of course, just climbs out of the boat and steps onto the water. He is looking at Jesus, eyes fixed straight ahead and he starts walking…on the water. The storm is still raging, winds are still roaring , waves are still rolling. Nothing has changed.
He took those first steps.
But then ,for some reason Scripture doesn’t say, Peter suddenly notices the waves and the fact that he’s walking on the water. And that’s when Peter starts to sink. Probably became frightened.
As any of us would be if we were honest.
He had taken his eyes off his goal, off what Jesus was calling him to do.
He took his eyes off Jesus. He cries out and Jesus, who wasn’t next to Him before, is now reaching him and picking him up out of the water. Then He asks why Peter started to doubt.
That’s why perhaps, when we sing the song “Oceans”, or maybe any similar song, we have to be careful.
We have to really know that we will go where Jesus calls us.
That our focus will remain on Christ.
The beauty of this is that, if Jesus calls us to do some water walking, He’s right there supporting us.
In the scary parts, in the doubting times.
Remember, the rest of the story? Jesus, who was far away, the moment Peter started to sink and become frightened, Jesus reached for him and lifted him back up.
That’s the wonderful thing about God. He may call us to do a bit of water walking.
A bit of stretching, Asking us to get out of our comfort zone. But He’s right there with us. He knows it’s out of our comfort zone. He knows He’s asking more of us than we think we can do.
But Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
So we can step out, we can walk on the water. Because Jesus is right there. And if we get a little nervous, if we hyperventilate a little bit, He has His arm stretched out. Maybe not changing the situation, but supporting us as we walk with Him.
So what is out of your comfort zone? What are you feeling God is calling you to do? That next thing?
That new thing?
That God breeze you aren’t sure what to do with ?
Trying a new type of creative endeavor?
Keep your eyes focused on your goal, on your calling.
He will never let you sink.