Today’s Reading: Matthew 14
My world is full of notes with ideas that come to me during sermons, classes, and conferences, even stop lights. I think, “I could do that!” I get all jacked up thinking about how I am going to do this or that. And then, nothing. Give it an hour or a day, or two and the notion is gone. The excitement fades and the vision is lost. Occasionally, however, I take a flier. Today, we get a special look at the entire life-cycle of an idea, a vision, or an “aha” moment.
Excitement. We all get ideas that make our heart beat a little faster. Occasionally, this excitement turns into something more. When we allow it to capture our full attention, we must respond. It happened to Peter. When he figured out that it was Jesus walking toward the boat he got excited. He wanted to be part of the action. So, “Peter answered him” (Matthew 14:28). Simple, right?
Action. Hopefully, we get to this stage. This is when we have to actually do something about it. Peter did it. It started with a decision. He tells Jesus, “command me to come.” Peter doesn’t stop there, he also moves. “Peter got out of the boat and walked.” To be honest, I’m pretty good at the first part. Getting out of the boat? That is a little tougher.
Fear. When we act, something unforeseen will show up. For Peter, it was the wind. It distracted him. He feared it and couldn’t overcome it. So, it overcame him. “when he saw the wind, he was afraid” (v30).
Failure. Peter’s attention on the wind and his own safety resulted in failure. He was “beginning to sink” (v30).
Recovery. Successful people are not the ones that never fail, rather, they fail the most often. The difference is that they recover fast. If you have recently fallen, or are stalled out by the headwinds in your life, take note of what happened to Peter. In the midst of his failure, “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him” (Matthew 14:31). The truth is that if God called you out, he will help you through. If you feel like you are hanging today, it is because you have not accepted his help.
Worship. When safety returns and we relax, who gets the credit? All too often, we think that we survived through grit and determination. This results in self-worship. Peter and the apostles, however, knew where their help came from. They, “worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God”” (Matthew 14:31).
I don’t know where you are in the life-cycle of a calling. I can look across my many projects and see that I have some that need to get off the ground and some that have completely failed. Today, these promises are hugely encouraging to me. Thank you, Lord! Truly, you are the son of God!!