Have you ever wanted to walk on water?
I’ve imagined seeing my feet skipping across the waves, looking down at the fish, and defying nature. But, for some reason, every time I’ve tried a water walk, all I get is wet.
Early in my faith, I read a story in Matthew 14 (Luke 6 and Mark 6) about the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. It seemed like an innocuous event until it wasn’t.
Storms & Negativity
The disciples came across high winds and rough seas. I imagined them paddling as fast as they could but going nowhere. I’m sure they felt stuck, scared, worried, and doubtful about their future. Negative self-talk was probably rampant on the boat.
Isn’t that just like us? We react poorly when life’s financial, relational, emotional, physical, spiritual waves and winds hit. I’m not proud of it, but there have been times, not all the time, but some times, where I’ve let the negativity bug rear its ugly head during some of my life storms.
Jesus’ Water Walk
Then, in the middle of the winds and waves, the disciples saw Jesus walking on water. It freaked them out, and I must admit I was a little taken back as well. He took this fantastic three-mile walk on the Sea of Galilee, just like we take a walk around a community park. I mean, think about it. Who does this kind of thing? Who walks on water? Not me. Not you. Nobody!
Because the act of walking on water is so far-fetched, the only way the disciples could reason this event in their heads was to think Jesus was a ghost! In our finite human minds, a water-walk is impossible! But, the truth is, nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37), even walking on water.
Jesus Calms the Water
Did I also mention the moment Jesus got into the boat, the waves and winds ceased? This calming effect shouldn’t be a surprise to those who follow Jesus. He is the Son of God. But for some reason, it always shocks us what He does the impossible.
Jesus defied the laws of physics by His water-walk and challenged the rules of nature by calming the sea. There is a lesson here. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will quiet the waters and give us peace.
If walking on water and calming the seas were the entire story, it would be a fantastic one, but one more miraculous thing happened; Peter walked on water. Okay, so it was only a few steps, but He did walk on water for a moment.
We can learn from Peter. When Jesus gave him the command to come, he didn’t hesitate. Most of us would probably say, “Jesus, let me think about this. The waves are too high, the winds are too strong, and I’m just too scared. I think I’ll pass on this whole walking-on-water thing.” But not Peter. He got out of the boat and walked on that tumultuous sea. There is a lesson here also; we cannot experience the miracles of God remaining on the shoreline or staying in the boat. We’ve got to take steps of faith, even if it seems impossible.
I’m Only Human
So, Peter fixed his eyes on Jesus, and for a moment, he walked on water. Conversely, when Peter took his eyes off the Son of God and looked at the waves, he sank like a guy wearing concrete galoshes.
If Peter could talk to us right now, he’d probably quote the eighties pop band The Human League by saying, “I’m only human.” When I think about it, Peter is a microcosm of humanity. We so easily take our eyes off of Jesus, and when we do, we sink.
Here is the good news, when we sink, there is always an opportunity for rescue. As Peter slowly fell into his watery oblivion, he cried out to Jesus, and He immediately pulled Peter out of the water. No matter what storm you find yourself in, know this, if you cry out to Jesus, He will rescue you.
Thirty-five years later, I took a deeper look into the story because I was losing faith. Covid-19 and its variants continued to cause problems in our society. Many in our church were feeling down and depressed, and I was feeling stagnant and stuck.
In verses 22 through 32, God revealed Peter’s seven-part spiritual water walk journey to me. It’s a constant journey I intend to take to enjoy Jesus Christ’s miracles every day. They go as follows:
- Get In (v. 22)
- Get Alone (v. 23)
- Get Rocked (v. 24)
- Get Amazed (v. 25-27)
- Get Out (v. 28-29)
- Get Help (v. 30-31)
- Get Awestruck (v. 32)
If you feel a little down and uninspired, I want to encourage you to join me on this spiritual journey. I’ve made it into a sermon series that will begin on August 15th. Come in person or watch online. Each sermon will be available on The Harbor Church Youtube (theharborfl) page the following Monday. Make sure to share it with family and friends. Let’s take a walk with Jesus and see what great things He has in store for us.
David Towner is an author and has been the senior pastor of The Harbor Church in Odessa, Fl, for twenty-three years. He is married to his wife, Tonya. They have three beautiful girls and four fantastic grandsons.