I love riding on boats. Whether it is a BIG boat (i.e. a cruise ship), a canoe down the creek, or my uncle’s boat on the lake, I always enjoy myself. There is something about the sun shining & the wind in your face. It is a place of contentment.

These thoughts were prompted by the girl’s bible study I am blessed to be a part of. We are reading a book by John Ortberg called, If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of the Boat. It’s a popular book, & I’m sure a lot of you have stumbled across it.

I have to admit, when I’m in the middle of the lake, or the ocean for that matter, I’m not thinking of getting out of the boat. I’m safe in the boat; I’m comfortable; I haven’t a care in the world. In the book Ortberg calls us to get out of the boat & walk on the water. His point of reference…the story of Jesus & Peter.

Matthew 14: 22-33

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
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.”

Fortunately for his audience, Ortberg is not asking us to literally “get out of the boat & walk on water.” But he is asking that we follow Jesus & put our faith in him, as Peter tried to do.

One thing that stands out to me in this passage is the dialog between Jesus & Peter:

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

“Come.” Jesus commanded Peter to get out of the boat. In this story, like in our lives, the boat is safe. However, the boat may be too safe, we might be too content in the boat. By being “safe” in the boat, we are missing the adventure God has planned for us out on the water.

As he commanded Peter, he commands us to get out of the boat too. He asks us to keep our eyes on him & follow. He will keep us afloat, as we walk towards Him and His plan for our lives.

Ortberg asks his reader to think about what their boat is. A job? Relationship? Fear? What in life is holding you back from, head over heels, following Jesus, and finding His purpose for your life.

Although it is scarey, I’m making myself think on this. What is my safe place? and is Jesus calling me to leave it, follow Him, & walk on the water?

Beautiful Lake Como, from a trip to Italy.

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