Becoming Holy

Let me walk upon the waters…

on August 6, 2014

(There are several versions of this on youtube worth watching~the lyrics are beautiful~Enjoy!)

“Oceans~Where Feet May Fail” by Hillsong is one of my new favorite songs.  I never saw the ocean until Prince Charming and I got married and went to Seaside for our honeymoon. It truly overwhelmed me to see it for the first time. Nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of God’s creation. This song has that same effect on me. The Ocean is the great unknown~all that life holds and all that will ever happen to us.  It is the enormity of God’s creation for each of us individually and as members of the Body of Christ. God calls each of us to go out into the deep and to go where the Spirit leads us. Our response to His call is what will make us truly alive.

This coming Sunday’s Gospel is a continuation of Matthew 14 and will lead each of us to the seashore. Recall that Jesus grieved for the death of his cousin, John the Baptist. He crossed the sea seeking solitude but was followed by the multitudes.  He healed the sick and fed the 5000~truly a miraculous day. The story unfolds as Jesus sends his disciples out on the boat, staying behind to pray on the mountain top. Meanwhile, the disciples are being tossed about on the waves a few miles offshore.  Jesus comes to them, walking across the water.  This terrifies the disciples until he commands, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” We are familiar with what happens next~Peter boldly asks Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” When Jesus responds, “Come,” Peter leaps out of the boat and begins to walk toward Jesus~on the water! However, he notices the strong winds, takes his eyes of Jesus and begins to sink.  He calls out, “Lord, save me” and is rescued by Jesus’ outstretched hand.

I remember, as a kid, thinking that Peter should have kept his eyes on Jesus and continued walking on the water. Why did he doubt? Remember, these disciples are coming off a day of miracles. Jesus had healed the sick and fed over 5000 people with no more than five loaves and two fish. He had walked on the sea in a storm in the middle of the night. Why would Peter doubt he could walk on water once commanded to do so by Jesus? It is so easy to question the faith of another, especially when everything appears so clear. It is harder to be honest with ourselves.

Why do I doubt? Why do I take my eyes off Jesus and pay attention to the storms around me? I have seen the miracles. Unexplained healing, answers to prayer, conversion of heart, and generosity beyond measure occur around me all the time. The Bible is full of miracles and so is our daily life. The miracle of creation reminds us God is with us. The miracle of birth reminds us God is life-giving. The miracle of prayer reminds us He will sustain us in our darkest hour.

Peter inspires me with his willingness to step out.  He is the first to ask God to command him out into the deep. Even though he loses his focus and begins to sink, Peter knows where his strength is. He immediately calls out, “Lord, save me!” He takes Jesus’ hand and is led back to the safety of the boat. I want the faith of Peter. I want to leap out of the boat and to be willing to call on Jesus each time I fail and begin to sink. Peter’s walk of faith continues on dry land and we know that our brave fisherman will fall again and again. We also know he gets back up each time and calls on Jesus~ever faithful in the storm. We are called to walk out in faith~to go deeper than we think we can~to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is waiting for our leap of faith. He desires our trust in the storm and He wants to hold our gaze as we keep our eyes on Him above the waves. To truly live His plan, we have to walk side by side with Him. Let me walk upon the waters…

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