But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30
Real living is not experienced by staying in the boat. When we consider our old, ‘run of the mill’ lives, we may find there’s no real purpose. Entering His kingdom in this life involves more than thinking about theology, but walking on water.
We’ve all heard the saying, “sink or swim”, but for the believer who wants to follow Christ, it is “sink or walk“.
Most have no problem learning to swim which is like learning to do something to where we can make own way through life. But there are those who eventually want to ‘step out of the boat’ and find out what they can do in the power of God.
Peter not only was one of Christ’s Disciples, but he proved he was also a believer.
Which do you want to be, a believer or just a follower? Christ’s intent for us, even as his students, is that we learn to walk in our faith – but it’s up to you. Christ is personal and you must want to discover Him in your daily life. He can appear to you in ways that may surprise you. Here, the other Disciples were automatically afraid when Christ appeared, clinging to the safety they felt being in the boat. Peter didn’t care, he just wanted to go out to meet Him! Was he crazy?! No, he was more conscious of Christ than they were and simply wanted more. Therefore we see Christ inviting Peter to come out of the boat, onto the water, and he did.
None of us want to sink or fail, even as we do normal, everyday things. With faith, even when we do sink, there is always something we can learn to become better the next time. The few steps Peter took were awesome. You can imagine later on, when the other Disciples told about Peter walking on the water, there had to be that one who just had to ask though, “But how come you stayed in the boat?” Though Peter eventually did sink and Christ was there to rescue him, on that day, Peter still had no regrets – it was sink or walk – he got out there.
Now faith is a peculiar thing as you may well know. It is simple yet, paradoxical. It’s so much about quality, though your quantity of it can increase, the more frequently you are willing to step out. Then we see something interesting – Peter “beginning to sink” in his faith.
If you agree that the Christian life is “sink or walk”, then know that within that instant you are “beginning to sink” in your circumstances, Matthew was pointing out how there is a brief opportunity where time stands still for you to regather your faith.
Notice how between faith and fear, there is a fine line which provides a passageway to bouncing back into trusting God again, even in the most pressing situations.
You know how it is. You’ll be going along having a good day, then suddenly something comes out of nowhere, blindsiding you and breaking up the flow of the day you are in. You begin to lose your focus and your mind begins to wonder – It’s in that very moment you can choose to either concentrate on Christ and keep walking, or continue to sink.
It actually says Peter saw “the wind”.
Well, we know he didn’t visibly see the air. But what he did see is what the wind was doing. The “wind” moving reminds us of the Spirit of God. With our physical eyes we cannot actually see the Spirit of God, but with our spiritual eyes we can discern what the Spirit is doing in our situation without becoming afraid.
The thing is, when he suddenly “became afraid”, Peter was already out there doing something only Christ had ever done before. This illustrates how even in the midst of doing the impossible, we must still maintain our spiritual focus. If you are walking in faith, you are doing something few will even consider today.
So when you experience circumstances that may seem unfavorable through your carnal perception, realize, it doesn’t have to be the end, but only the “beginning” of regathering your focus and maintaining your faith.
Recognize that “seeing the wind” is a good thing. If Peter would have just looked to the One Who had led him out onto the water in the first place, he would have kept on walking – that’s what we can do.
When you get that distracting text or phone call, something messes up, or doesn’t go your way – rather than getting all shook up – see it as an indicator to check that your focus is on Christ and keep walking.
The challenge of the daily Christian life is, “Will I sink or walk?”