“Peter was willing to step out into the storm because he wanted to be close to Jesus.” Joshua Pruis
I want to continue to talk about the sermon found in Matthew 14: 22-36, about Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. Last time we talked about whether or not we are willing to ask, listen and then step out to where God can use us for His glory. Today I want to talk about why we step out and how stepping out doesn’t automatically signal the end of the storm.
I always forget about the storm when thinking about the story of Peter walking on water toward Jesus. I know it’s mentioned but I always focus instead on Peter walking, the fact that’s nighttime and he can’t really see the water, Jesus helping him up when he starts to sink, etc. It’s good to remember that when Peter asked if he could walk out toward Jesus on the water and Jesus told him to come, He didn’t automatically make the waves die down or the storm stop. Peter was encouraged to walk out to Jesus in the midst of the storm.
When we choose to follow Jesus with all we have, I think it’s safe to say we can expect to experience some storms in the forms of trials, difficulties, and challenges. I used to hate the storms in life and for many years, I did what I could to avoid them. However, then Jesus spoke to me and I realized I had a choice. I could stay “safe” or He could use me for His glory. Back when fear had control of my life, safe sounded good. Then I uttered one sentence to God that began a different path for my life, “Change me, Lord – whatever You want to change in me, I’m willing, but please be gentle with me.”
And guess what? He did. He started first slowly chipping away at fear. He replaced it with faith, then with hope, and then with peace. When faith, hope, and peace became stronger in my life, I started to live with more courage – courage that approaches strangers in airports and asks them if I can pray for them and their dying brother. Courage that asks another woman if she would allow me to watch her things so she can take care of business without worry. Courage that gets outside of myself and instead offers a friendly face to newcomers at church or at the store. Courage that is bold but filled with joy. Courage to listen to my husband and change my approach when he gently (and privately) corrects the way I’m overreacting to a situation. Courage to say “no” to good things so that I’m saying “yes” to God’s best. Courage to admit when I’m wrong, being selfish, giving in or being too strict to name but a few. Courage to hold myself accountable to my Father and adjust my attitude and actions accordingly so that I’m willingly obeying no matter what the cost. Sometimes the cost is high and sometimes I’m rewarded instead…but always being willing to accept either.
Our family has experienced many different forms of storms since we chose to allow God to use us the way He wants. But we have also experienced more blessings than I could name. The best part is that when storms occur, God is right there with us in them…and if we keep our eyes on Him and not the weather, He’ll get us through them quicker and less battered.
Come back next time for one more truth I learned because of Peter stepping out and walking toward Jesus on the water.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015