You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon your name
And Keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am yours and you are mine.
There was a scene from The Shack that I really liked. “Jesus” came to Mack on the lake and encouraged him to get out of the boat and walk on the water. Later, Mack started back to the boat, trying to walk on the water…without “Jesus”. It didn’t work. With “Jesus”, they ran.
I’ve been listening to the song “Oceans” by Hillsong ever since the movie. The subtitle, Where Feet May Fail, has really captured my attention.
Where my feet may fail
and fear surrounds me
It’s fairly easy to “get out of the boat” when it’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining. But that’s not how the story goes in Matthew 14. Reading the whole chapter, you realize that Jesus and his disciples where have a really strange day…a hard day, a day filled with sadness and wonder.
Jesus is told that his forerunner, his cousin, one of the first to know who he was, had been beheaded. John the Baptist was dead. Of course, the humanly response would be to withdraw from others, to remove yourself from daily activities, to talk with God, to recognize what this means in God’s plan for Jesus. Jesus tried to do this, but the crowds followed him and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As the evening draws near, the people don’t leave and Jesus refuses to turn them away, at the urging of the disciples. So he miraculously feeds them all, all 5000 or more, with a little boy’s lunch. Only then does he send everyone away, including his disciples.
The thing is, he sends his disciples into a storm.
Finally Jesus is alone to speak to God. Maybe the storm that came was a manifestation of Jesus’ emotions of the day? Later, in the midst of the storm, he goes to his disciples who are stuck in the storm, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.
Here we have the true miracle that every one of us can experience.
The disciples are scared and even more afraid when they see a “ghost” coming to them walking on the waters through the storm. It’s early morning now and the disciples have been alone all night, in their storm…or so they thought…and now their eyes are seeing strange things.
Could Jesus have been praying for them all night?
Jesus comforts them from the storm and Peter decides that he would rather be with Jesus than in the boat, so he asks if he can come to Jesus.
He said, “Come.”
Jesus always says “come” when we ask to be nearer to him.
Peter steps out of the boat and walks to Jesus. But “fear surrounds him” and he takes his eyes off Jesus and immediately starts to sink.
At least he had the courage to get out of the boat!
The weather has been really strange here in Tennessee lately. For two weeks we had heavy winds and rains. The first storm came through and toppled trees and damaged homes. I was at work and was hearing about it all second hand. The second storm hit while I was at home. As the storm started, the house shook and windows rattled. The lightning lit up the sky…and I turned over and went to sleep.
I mean, Jesus had this, he is still in command of the winds and the rains, so I left those concerns in his very capable hands. If Jesus could sleep through a storm, so could I (see Mark 4:35).
I wonder how many times Jesus sends us into a storm? How many times does he wait for us to look past the storm and see him?
Our neighbor has one of those yellow signs in their yard that says “Eyes on Jesus”. I think of this story when I see it and I wonder why I’m sinking in my circumstances and it just might be because I’ve taken my eyes off Jesus.
Storms will come. Jesus is in the storm, urging you to come to him. Keep your eyes on him and get out of the boat. He’s got you.