“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
I am completely stepping out of my boat. Friday was my last day at my “day job”, and I will be actively pursuing school and ministry. Along with this change come many emotions. Mainly excitement and joy, but recently fear and doubt have managed to creep their way into the picture. I don’t fear that God won’t provide, or that He won’t use my life, but the tiniest amount of doubt passes through my mind, “am I supposed to be blogging…writing..creating a ministry…am I supposed to pursue a speaking career…am I even good at all this?” I have been fighting these emotions, holding firm to what I know I love to do and what I know God has made me to accomplish. It seems that whenever we are pursuing the opportunity to accomplish the plans that we believe God has called us to, we are conditioned to experience doubt in that pursuit.
When I think of doubt I immediately think of this scripture with Peter and Jesus. The question, “Why did you doubt me?” that Jesus boldly poses often becomes a life mantra for those who are living in faith. In a scriptural commentary, it was said that, “doubt” does not indicate a lack of faith, but rather “a state of qualified faith”: its weakness, but not its absence.”
Often times we only connect doubting and lacking all faith. However, we must consider that doubting is not the complete absence of faith, but rather lacking the appropriate level of faith that is required to fulfill God’s plan for our life. Peter in this situation had faith in Jesus, that’s why he stepped out of the boat in the first place. But it was the level of his faith after that first step that determined whether he would walk or sink; whether he would succeed or fail. He stepped out in faith, but the tiniest amount of doubt snuck in, which impacted his faith that led him to sink.
What I have learned about life, and taking steps of faith, is that the first step is always the easiest. After that every other step becomes a monumental climb. In order to succeed, or in order to accomplish the acts of faith that Jesus has called us to, we must allow every step to be one filled with utter dependence on God. Doubt cannot have a place in our lives, because it is that little difference in faith that can determine whether we walk or sink. Experiencing doubt does not necessarily mean that we will fail in life, but it will greatly affect how many times we walk on water or sink in the sea.
Live with strength in faith. Release your doubts. Walk on the water.