Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:22-33
I love this story because there are so many lessons that can be drawn from it. One of the lessons I see is how Peter allowed a small thing to stand in the way of conquering a much bigger thing.
The biggest obstacle that Peter was facing in this story was right underneath him. How many times have you walked on water? I would say that to be able to walk across water would be more than just an obstacle. It is impossible! Yet Peter did it. He WALKED on water. I think sometimes we read stories in the Bible and because we have read them so many times, we are quick to skim over them. We don’t stop and really think about the implications of what we have read. But take a moment to really let that sink in—Peter walked on water! This is no small feat! He has done the impossible.
At this point, one would think that Peter could do anything. His faith, his trust in God must be so strong that nothing could stand in the way! Wrong. Although he was conquering an incredible act he would then allow a smaller thing, the wind, to distract him. What is the wind compared to walking on water? Don’t you think that Peter’s reaction should have been, “Wind? What’s a little wind?” Yet instead he panicked. And in his panic, he lost sight of what he was doing and suddenly he began to sink.
What great thing are you conquering in your life? It feels pretty good to have those moments doesn’t it? But if we aren’t careful, we are sure to let something small to distract us. We get off course. We begin to sink. Think about the different areas of your life this could apply to. Think of your marriage…your relationship with your children…your dreams…your career…your ministry. Little things can catch our attention and suddenly our focus is off the great thing that God is doing within us.
We also need to have a proper perspective of what God is doing. God’s great thing might not be so obvious. Most times we are looking for the grand displays of greatness. Walking on water is definitely a display of greatness. The truth is, though, most of the time we will not experience such grand moments.
God can be doing something really great right now in your life but you are so focused on little things that you are failing to see what is right before you. Don’t let the wind or whatever it may be for you, keep you from walking out and doing the thing God has called you to do. Keep your eyes on Him and you can’t go wrong!