Thursday, 11 June 2009

Summer, water and getting out of the boat.

After what seemed like months of rain we have been blessed with a good amount of sunshine. We are reminded each year to wear hats, drink plenty of water and put on large amounts of sun cream. Sunny days invoke memories of lazy times on beaches building sandcastles, eating ice-creams, cream teas, Wimbledon, athletics etc.

I often think of beautiful calm seas with a very slight ripple of a wave; although surfers around the coast here will be wishing for something a little larger. I have recently read a book by John Ortberg called ‘If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat’ which is based on the story of the disciples on a fishing expedition when they get caught in a storm. Jesus is not with them in the boat but He walks on the water to them. Peter, one of the disciples, is so full of confidence in Jesus that he gets out of the boat and walks towards Him. Somehow, he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts looking at the storm and then begins to sink. It would be easy to criticise Peter for not trusting Jesus but he did have the courage to get out of the boat; he took that risk. How would many of us fare in this situation? I wonder if I would be one of the disciples who stayed in the boat. I have heard many times that it is better to try and fail than not try at all.

Sometimes, it seems like the life of a Christian should be easy. ‘Come to Jesus and all your problems will go away!’ is the message of some. The story of Jesus walking on water teaches us that life, will in fact, have its storms and difficulties. Those who have faith in Jesus and choose to serve Him will not be immune from living in a sinful world. The problems we encounter may be of our making; the results of poor decisions, but they may be the result of ‘life happenings’. God will also call us to take risks for Him in ways that we cannot imagine. We may have to do things in our lives that are way out of our Comfort Zone.

God is a good God. If He wants us to do something that we find difficult then He will equip us for that task. A verse from Ephesians says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We may not feel able to do anything for God but He is able to be trusted to help us.

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