They were in the boat struggling to cross the lake. The wind and the waves were against them as they tried crossing. They were obeying what Jesus called them to do, go to the other side. They had just witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (actually 10,000 or so). Jesus had gone up the mountainside to spend some alone time with His Father. Jesus was probably exhausted and needed time grieve as his friend John the Baptist had just been murdered.
The disciples were in the boat “already a considerable distance from the land” when Jesus came walking across the water. Thinking Jesus was a ghost the disciples were terrified. Jesus called to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, sitting in the boat, asked, “Lord, if it’s you, tell to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said, “Come.”
I wish I had the faith and courage of Peter. Peter took a risk when He saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter asked, “tell me to come.” I don’t know if Peter doubted if it was really Jesus. I don’t know if he knew it was Jesus and wanted to walk on the water too. Or if Peter was just being Peter by opening his mouth and talking before thinking about what he was saying. (which has happened before to Peter) But one thing is true, Peter saw Jesus doing something incredible and He asked to join Him.
Too often we sit and wait for God to call us. We sit in the chairs at church, read our Bible, pray (which are all necessary) and wait for God to show up, give us a sign, or (like what I want) make it painfully clear that He is calling us to do something. But I wonder if we are too much like the other disciples in the boat that when we see Jesus or see what He is doing we just wait for Jesus to call us onto the water. I wonder if He is waiting for us to call out to Him and say, “Jesus if that is you, tell me to come.”
Actively waiting. Yes, we shouldn’t move until God calls us, but maybe we should make the first move by asking, “Jesus if it’s you, tell me to come.” When we see God doing something maybe we should ask if we can join Him.
Last February we began to sense God calling us to move to Mexico. We had seen what God was doing in Mexico as well as growing our ministry, Be2Live. So we asked, “God if it’s you, call us out onto the water.” Having little resources, God provided the means for us to move. He called us out of the boat. Yes, it was sad to move from the town we had lived in for the past 15 years. Yes, it was hard for our kids to leave the only home they have ever known. Yes, it was a risk moving not knowing if what we were doing was 100% what God was asking us to do. But I wonder that if we had not asked, “God if it’s you, call us out” would we still be sitting in the boat? Would we have not experienced God in ways we never would have experienced Him had we stayed?
A quick word of caution. If we ask, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out,” we better be prepared to move, to get out of the boat. We won’t know how we will “walk on water,” but that is not up to us, that miracle is up to Jesus. Our role is to obey. Yes, it will be scary, in fact, terrifying at times. Yes, it will require sacrifice on our part. Yes, it will take more courage than you think you have. Yes, like Peter, we will have our doubts. But, we will be walking on water with Jesus!
- When you see your neighbor outside, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out.”
- When we see our co-worker struggling, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out.”
- When we see what God is doing in another city/state/country, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out.”
- When we see a family from another country (documented or undocumented) struggling to make ends meet, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out.”
“‘When did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help?’ Jesus will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the one of the least of these you did not do for me.’” – Matthew 25:44-45
Stop waiting for God’s call and when you see something Jesus is doing, make the first move by asking, “Jesus if it’s you, call me out.” Then walk on water with Jesus!