People never cease to amaze me. They love to point out failure (or what they have heard or read about) in another’s life, especially one who has done great works for the Lord. This morning, I was reading about Peter walking on water, and I thought to myself, “Peter, you dummy, why did you take your eyes off of Jesus?” Then a question came into my mind, that kicked me right in my conscience, “David, have you ever walked on water?” I thought about it for, oh, about two seconds and answered, “Well, no!” That voice in my head seemed to say, “Well then, why are you rebuking Peter when he at least had enough faith to fail.” And this is the thought that absolutely floored me. Most people never sink, because they never even try. Failure is criticized, while a lack of ever stepping out on faith is accepted. No other disciple in that boat sank, but then again, no one else stepped out in faith and tried. Peter did! Peter was not a risk taker. He was a faith taker, but like all of us who step out, we often look down at our feet and start to sink. BUT, sinking is not all that bad. PLEASE read the next two thoughts, and if you are not on the verge of jumping up and down, I will be surprised. Two marvelous things happened when Peter began to sink.
1.”…and he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Did you get that? No one else was sinking, so no one else felt that total helplessness, that caused Peter to cry out to Jesus. I love it. Our failures do for us, what our never trying, could not do. They make us cry out to the Lord. Now, that makes me want to shout. I called out to the Lord in my sinking, far more than when I was in the boat.
2. “…and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him.” Now, if you have never been caught by Jesus, YOU AIN’T NEVER BEEN CAUGHT. I love this. Peter was closer to Jesus in his failure, than those who never stepped out on the water. I’m in his arms my friend. I’m the younger son who has felt the kisses of my father on my grimy neck. I personally picture Jesus still afar off from Peter. I see Him reaching forth His hand and suddenly He was right there, just like the father with the Prodigal. Jesus is never far away from us, when we are sinking. He is just a cry away.
Well, this just about brought me out of my seat right here in Panera Bread. I SANK!!!! YES, I DID. I tried to walk on water, but I let the temptations cause me to take my eyes off of Jesus. I lost my faith, and I began to sink. I tried to swim, but the waves of guilt and shame were too great. I called to the church to throw me a lifeline, but they were dealing with their own storms. I looked to the people on the shore, but they were too busy typing my story on the internet. Finally, I did all I could do. I cried out to the Lord, and the instant I did…….Jesus reached out his arm and caught me. Well, glory!
“I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.”
For those who stepped out of the boat and walked a few steps in service, but then through sin, fear or discouragement began to sink…you’re gonna be fine. Just cry out to Jesus and be ready for him to catch you.