I love the narrative that tells the story of Peter walking on water. It’s a story loaded with meaning, lessons and substance. The focus so often, because we are who we are, is on Peter. But there are other players in this grand drama.
There is of course, Jesus – the true hero of the story who can walk on water, save those who are sinking in the midst of tempestuous seas, but also, has the formidable power not only to call people to walk on water, but enable them to do it. (Matthew 14:22-33)
And then, cowering on the boat, watching with astonishment, are the remaining disciples who have no knowledge, experience or inclination as to how to walk on the water or what it feels like. They don’t even appear to ask questions about it. Was the water hard, or sponge-like? Would Peter do it again? Did something happen internally when Jesus said, “Come!”?
When Peter set foot on the Galilean sea, tentatively walking towards God, defying all the rules of science and nature, he left no footprints.
We are not told how far he walked, how many steps, what speed he walked or with what confidence he paced his steps, but the narrative seems to gather us up with the pace of the action and no sooner has Peter made his mark in world history as the one who walked on water with God, than the story comes to an abrupt end.
You can find yourself in that story somewhere.
The challenge is that there was one who walked at ease on water, another who saw the opportunity and took the initiative to do something audacious, made the request and then responded to an invitation to do the things that Jesus was doing. Others looked on, or away, we are not told.
But there were no footprints afterwards, only a story. Someone else’s story.
The message is simple. Sometimes (as the saying goes) the opportunity of a lifetime must be taken during the lifetime of the opportunity. Take it now, take it quickly, take it with faith and take it with obedience as your wholeheartedly pursue God’s call in and on your life. You are His forever – obey Him and follow Him wherever He leads, directs or calls.
Others might not always be able to see where your footprints are or where they lead to, but you can guarantee that they will talk about your story over supper and wonder at the astonishing grace that God showed you in calling you to walk that way.
And as ever, the only real hero, is the One who always can walk on water who so often, beckons others – like you, to walk that way too. It’s a fantastic journey, but then, He is an awesome God!