“Have you ever been to Little Lake Park off of Blue Hill Road,” Stan asked me one morning.”
“Sure,” I said, “lots of times. Nice place for a picnic. Why do you ask?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “my wife and I were over there the other day. We rented one of those row boats and spent some time just rowing around the lake.”
“Good time?” I asked.
“Yeah, it was a very pleasant time,” Stan said. “And when we got back to the dock and got out of the boat, I was reminded of the experience of the apostle Peter when he walked on the water, as well as how the picture of a rocking boat has an impact on my faith walk.”
“Why’s that?” I asked. “Did you try to walk on the water?”
“No,” Stan laughed, “but I almost fell in. Do you know how hard it is to get out of a boat that’s rocking on the water?”
“I do,” I replied. “Not easy. But what’s that have to do with Peter and walking on the water?”
“Let’s do a quick recap of what was going on with Peter,” Stan said. “Jesus had just fed the five thousand, the disciples got into a boat, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, the disciples in the boat ran into a storm, Jesus was walking on the water near the boat when Peter asked Jesus to command him to come to Him on the water, and Jesus said, ‘Come’.”
“Okay,” I replied. “I see the picture, but what’s that have to do with you and your faith walk?”
“Can you imagine how hard it must have been for Peter to get out of the boat? We’re talking about a rocking boat in the middle of a storm. It had to be difficult. And the same thing applies to me and my faith walk.”
“What same thing?”
“When Jesus says, ‘Come’,” Stan replied, “I often have a hard time getting out of the boat and doing what Jesus says, whatever the boat may look like.”
“Whatever the boat may look like?”
“Yeah,” Stan said, “I may not want to leave where I am, whatever circumstance or situation that might be, but I don’t think that’s what God intends with discipleship.”
“Oh,” I replied, “do you mean that getting out of the boat is like the part about denying self?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “I am to deny myself even though that may be difficult and I’m to leave wherever I am that isn’t where God wants me to be.”
“And then do what God has for you to do as you follow Him,” I responded. “Is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile. “I think you got it!”
Bible verses to consider:
And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:29.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the opportunity to be a disciple on this side of eternity before then. I confess that too often I do not respond to your “Come” by leaving where I am and going to where you want me to be. I do that because that’s what I chose to do. Please forgive the foolishness of not responding to you as you want. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I am where you intend for me to be so I can do what you have for me to do. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you left where you were, separated from God, to be where He has for you to be so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why would you want to remain separated from God for eternity? That’s a long time! If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with responding to God’s “Come” so you leave where you are to be where He wants you to be? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?