“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
In this story, Peter experienced a direct call from Jesus. “Come,” Jesus said to Peter. He asked him to come and meet him out on the water. Not something people probably did every day – the whole walking on water bit. But we must give Peter some credit; he did get out of the boat, and he successfully walked on water…at first. That is, until he took his eyes off Jesus. Once Peter saw the wind and probably the waves (which were always there; he just had not acknowledged them yet), he began to sink. He began to look at his circumstances instead of keeping his eyes on the one who controlled his circumstances, and in his doubt, he began to sink. In essence, Peter did not even notice the waves at first because his eyes were on Jesus. Once he took his eyes off of his leader, he noticed the daunting circumstances, and he began to doubt.
Similarly, I believe this happens to all of us. We feel a calling from the Spirit to do something radical, so we jump in and get started, but then as soon as the circumstances become less-than-perfect, we begin to doubt that we’re doing what God truly called us to do, mainly because we have taken our eyes off of Him and started to acknowledge the circumstances around us. On the contrary, though, I believe that God does call us to recklessly abandon what common sense might tell us to do and just trust him, even through the hardest of circumstances. It’s then that we have to take our eyes off of our circumstances and keep them stayed on the One who is in control of all of our circumstances. Oswald Chambers says it this way, “Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on him.” He always adds, “It is only by abandon that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.”
So what is God calling you to do? How does he want you to recklessly abandon everything for him? For us? It’s leaving our life of comfort and security in the great state of Texas and moving into a time of unknown circumstances in NYC. Common sense tells us that every detail is not yet defined and that we should fear these unknown circumstances, but our faith tells us that these “unknowns” give God even more room to work, in both our circumstances and in strengthening our faith in him. And when things get hard, we pray that we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). And even more, this story ends in a way that reminds us that even when we do falter in our faith, Jesus will reach out his hand and catch us, restoring our hearts and minds in him.