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Get out of the boat!

The Vineyard

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This was read to a Bible study group by a friend of mine, and he asked each person to re-state the story, in their own words as if they were there watching the narrative. One member, to the surprise of my friend, assumed that when Jesus said, “why did you doubt?”, was not looking at Peter, but around and behind Peter at the eleven disciples still safely and comfortably sitting in the boat!

It’s easy to whine about how in my own life, and I have know of many, many people that “are behind me” in my determination to follow Him, yet it seems like many are watching me make the move of faith as the remain within the safety of the boat! While saying that they have faith in me and what I am doing, and agreeing to pray with/for me, most are not ready to “step out on faith” and work hand-in-hand.

But what about me? How many times have I done the exact same thing? How often do I see a man or woman of God doing the right thing, the very thing He has called him/her to do, and all the while I lack the faith, the “pluck”, the determination and the discipline to join with him or her. I stand condemned if I hear Jesus telling me to “come also”.

James said, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith (or if he believes in how God is leading another brother or sister) but does not have works.” I hear so many folks talk about promising to pray for this person or that ministry, but I do wonder (1) If they really are praying with resolve and (2) if that promise to pray is tantamount to “staying in the boat” so that the one praying will not get his/her feet wet or have to actually exercise belief by taking action!

I certainly ought to pray for those that are courageously serving Him, but I ought to also get out of the boat, more often, and perhaps be willing to step out in faith with those watching from my comfortable perch.

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