There is a well known Bible story found in Matthew and Mark. If you have been around church anytime at all chances are you have heard of it. One night the disciples are rowing their boat across the sea of Galilee when a storm moves in on them. Being in the water at night is bad enough but when a storm moves in on you things will go from bad to worse.
While they were rowing hard against the waves Jesus shows up in the middle of the lake, walking on the water. When the disciples saw Him, Matthew 14:26 said, “they were terrified”. This is one of those major UNDERSTATEMENTS in the Bible. Of course they were, they thought He was a “ghost”. At this point you have to wonder if it is better to be in the boat or out of the boat?
Jesus announces himself and tells them not to be fearful.
Then something happens in the story no one would imagine if hearing it for the first time.
Peter says, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus tells him to “come” and Peter begins walking on the water to Jesus. He did not go to far before he gets scared because of the wind and begins to sink. He cries out to Jesus and Jesus rescues him.
When Peter gets back into the boat Jesus says to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
Peter never answers that question. All of my life as a child, teen and adult I have heard this passage preached to stress the need for faith in our lives.
I wholeheartedly agree. That is what Jesus addressed with Peter after he got out of the boat and begin to sink. But there is more in this story.
It could be called “The Story Behind The Story”. My question is this, “Why was Peter the ONLY ONE to get out of the boat?” I know that Peter asked to come but the rest of them DID NOT.
- Were there not twelve in the boat? Yes.
- And ONLY one of the twelve had enough faith to get out? Yes.
- And they SAT in the boat because of their lack of faith? Yes.
If I were asked to choose which one of the disciples we should all be in this story, it would be Peter. Hands down, absolutely, and without question. Peter got out of the boat and walked on water. As for the others, they sat in the security of the boat and did nothing.
What is the one thing you should hate worse than failure?
Not trying in the first place.
What is “not trying?” Not trying is refusing to attempt anything for fear it is too hard or cannot be done.
Do we like to fail? Of course not. But we are looking at failure with the wrong eyes. There are more benefits to failure then we may realize.
- Failure means we are doing something and trying something new.
- Failure means we are stepping out in faith.
- Failure means when it does not work the first time we learn something. We move one step closer to find out what does work.
- Failure means although God’s call to us may not be accomplished on the first try, it can be done. Keep in mind that Moses got NINE no’s from Pharoah before he got ONE yes.
On April 23rd, 1910 President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in Paris, France that is a great example of the need to try. We need to do something.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Keep trying to kick that habit. Keep trying to start that book. Keep trying to find ways to love those who are hard to love. Begin to do what you know you have been putting off for way too long.
Get in the trenches and fight. You will have battle scars but those who go into battle normally do. You will fail. Sometimes for lack of faith, sometimes because of your lack of experience, and sometimes for things completely out of your control.
Get out the boat and start walking.
You will meet Jesus if you do.