He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. – Matthew 14:29 (ESV)
Peter had been a fisherman prior to becoming a disciple of Jesus, so he was probably pretty confident that water was not meant to be walked on. He knew that people sank when they got out of the boat, especially in the middle of storms.
However, despite all of that prior knowledge, he had been transformed by Jesus Christ. He understood that just as he had been called by Jesus earlier in his life to follow, he was now being called to do something that didn’t seem to make a lot of sense in practical terms. It didn’t make sense for him to get out of the boat onto the water. Nevertheless, he was willing to put his trust in the person of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus told him to do it, he had faith that he could.
He had to take that first step, though. He had to literally get out of the boat, and that can be the hardest part.
That can apply to those of us who are looking at transitions in our lives. Maybe we have received the call from God to pursue a new degree for example. It is one thing to receive the call, and it is another to actually begin following. We can talk about following all day, but there is certainly a practical consideration in this chapter. Peter had to take action.
I had to take action with my apologetics program I am enrolled in right now. I could have sat on my computer and read the website over and over, but if I never actually sent my application to the admissions office at Houston Baptist University, I never what had truly been following what I believe I have been called to do.
A lack of action can stop a transition dead in its tracks. That can be a major problem if the transition we are considering is one where we feel the call of God acting. It creates an internal conflict. We know we ought to be following what God has called us to do, but we haven’t actually done anything about it.
We might come up with possible objections as to why we shouldn’t do it, but going through these types of transitions means that we have to trust God. For me, a major obstacle was financial resources. I really did not want to go into debt if I could help it. I was worried that maybe I would get half way and not be able to afford to finish up the program. Even though I had a plan, we all know that life has a way of bringing in complications that we never anticipate. I think that many of my plans are good ideas, but they are ultimately nothing more than that. They are not reality.
That is why we need Christ, and that is why Peter needed Christ. He could have stepped out of the boat on his own, but without Jesus, it wouldn’t have done any good. He would have fallen in the water. He needed to be willing to make the transition, but he also needed Jesus there with him to supply the power in the situation.
As we navigate transitions in our own lives, we need first to listen for the call from God, and then we need to be willing to take action.
What are some of the factors that can hold us back from making the changes that we are being called to make? How do we overcome these barriers?
Dear Lord, please help me be responsive to Your call in my life. Help me not only to discern what You want me to do, but also to take action and do what You would have me do. Amen.