“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 14:28-29).
I love going to the pool. As soon spring starts warming up I start getting the itch. My son gets excited, too. He gets so excited I must make sure he applies sunscreen before leaving the house, because the minute we walk through the pool gate he’s stripping off his shirt and jumping in!
I, on the other hand, hesitate. I know I’ll love it, but can I jump into the cold? I dip my toes in, think about the water temperature, and sit on the side of the pool. He begs me to join him, and I promise I will -- but not yet. “Just a minute,” I say. I have to consider the cold and if it’s worth it. You know, do a cost/benefit analysis of sorts.
In this passage, Peter is in the boat with disciples of Jesus, and there’s been a lot going on over the last few days. Their friend John was beheaded, and then they had to manage crowd control as Jesus preached to and fed 5,000 people. Following Jesus is like being on a roller coaster: it’s full, fast, and furious.
So Jesus takes a few hours to be alone and pray. He’ll catch up with the disciples later, he says, and he does -- by walking on the water to meet them out in the middle of the lake. This is when Peter asks for it. He doesn’t want to be in the boat, on the edge of the boat, or even swimming out to greet him. He wants to be right there with Jesus, in the midst of all the action, doing exactly what Jesus is doing. “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
The moment Jesus bids Peter come Peter takes a big step. He gets right out of the boat and walks toward Jesus.
While I’m lost in my thoughts my son’s in the pool having fun. While I’m considering if it’s worth it or not and deliberating the possible outcomes, he’s living life. While the rest of the disciples watch Peter acts.
I think Peter gets a bad rap a lot of time for his impulsiveness, but I love that he has reckless abandon to speak and act in response to Jesus. With Jesus, who needs caution or deliberation? He will carry us no matter what. He bids us come, be with Him where He is, doing exactly what He’s doing. What more can we want?
God, where am I overthinking things? Are there areas I just need to trust you and take a step? Where are you calling me to be “all in?” Help me remember I can trust you completely to hold me up as I move forward. Thank you. Amen.