Have you ever stared off into the ocean? Intimidating, right? One moment it is raging, waves stacked on top of each other and the next it calms to a still motion. What I love about the ocean is not just its vastness and mystery, but it’s continual presences. Think about it, other weather come and go, land shifts and changes, forests burn and grow, mountains erode, but the ocean never ceases.
The ocean has always fascinated me and when I am by it I feel closer to God than I do anywhere else. Using the ocean as a metaphor for how I see God is my favorite to explain. I mean it is vast, mysterious, powerful, creative, full of emotions, and relentless. Also, it reminds me of how small I am compared to the Glory of God. It reminds me that there is more going on then just my story. We are all on different size vessels (or for some of us no vessels) out on the ocean, trying to navigate this thing we call life.
Some of my favorite stories in the Bible have to do with bodies of water, but today Jesus calling to Peter is on my mind. If you don’t know the story you can read it in its entirety in Matthew 14:22-36 (click it to read online), but I am going to give you a summary.
The 12 disicples went ahead of Jesus out onto the sea to cross to the other side. Once of the boat was a good distance from land and it was close to dawn, the disicples saw a man walking on water and thought it was a ghost. Jesus called to them, assuring them it was Him. Peter, being the bold one that he is, called to Jesus and told him to bring him out on the water if it was truly he. Jesus did and Peter got out of the boat and walked on water toward Jesus, but of course Peter got scared and started to sink all because he took his eyes off of Jesus (don’t worry – Jesus got him).
Within that one short story, there is so much we can pull apart, but what I want to focus on is the location of all the characters. First, Jesus is walking on the water, solid, relentless. Then there is the 11 disciples who were so afraid, they stayed in the boat. Lastly, there is Peter who took a risk, trusting Jesus, and walked out to him. I think at one point or another we can relate to the disciples in the boat AND Peter. There are moments I have felt the tug of God to get out of the boat, but I stayed out of fear. Then there have been moments I found some courage and jumped out like Peter.
Over the course of I don’t know how many posts, I am going to tell you my story of jumping out of the boat this past year, because I think as a woman in ministry it is an important story to tell. This year I have had bring down my own Jericho, face a Giant, and take a leap like Peter.
My prayer for this series of posts is that they become an encouragement to people who are going through what I have faced already or what I am facing now. I also pray that as you read, you don’t see this as solely my story, but just a chapter in the story of God and the work is he weaving around, not just me, but all of us. As you sail with me on these relentless waters, I want to hear your stories as well. At the end of every post I am going to link the contact form so you can privately message me or you can use the comment section below. So where are you now in this story? The 11 Disciples who stayed in the boat? Or Peter?