Dancing on the Waves
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “ Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14: 25-29
The story is told of a young boy who liked to jump into the arms of his father. The son would stand at the top of the stairs and leap gleefully into his dad’s secure arms. But, the rule was, the boy was only to jump after he heard his father’s voice inviting him to take flight. One night, the father changed the game. The boy, anticipating this nightly routine, stood perched at the top of the stairs waiting for the familiar voice of his father. But this time, the father turned off the hall lights and the boy could not see the face of his father or the strong arms that always caught him in mid-flight. “Jump!” the father shouted. “I can’t see you,” came the wary reply of the son. Again, the father gave the usual command, “Jump!” “But I can’t see you,” said the boy with fear rising in his voice. The father’s response was calm and sure. “Jump!” And, with terror in his heart, the boy leapt into the air and landed safely and securely in his father’s arms.
This is a great story illustrating the concepts of faith and trust!
Most people are familiar with the biblical encounter of Jesus and Peter walking on water. Often the focus of this account is on Peter’s lack of faith as he begins to sink. What if, however, this story really isn’t about lack of faith, but rather what a person can experience if he or she takes the invitation of Jesus seriously?
Peter’s response to Jesus is, in itself, remarkable, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” I’m not sure I would have been as bold as Peter in asking the seemingly impossible. Was Peter playing some ancient form of “Truth or Dare”?
While we may never know his motive, Jesus calls his bluff, inviting Peter to join Him. And with that invitation, Peter gets out of the boat and learns that Jesus can be trusted as he experiences the impossible.
Wherever you find yourself today, and you hear Jesus saying, “Come,” no matter how dark or impossible your situation seems, put faith into action and dance on the waves!
Going Deeper: Scared to jump? Tell Jesus. Seem absurd? Trust anyway.
Further Reading: Psalms 20:7; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 14:1
Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids.