Lord, what lesson do You want to teach me about walking on water?
This is another question we asked the Lord in our “Spirit Life Circle” journaling group, and this is the oh-so-encouraging answer I received:
“My darling, the first thing I want you to see about walking on water is that it is optional. I did not command Peter to come to Me on the water until he asked Me to. Eleven men stayed in the boat and I was totally pleased with them. The other disciples still lived for Me and ultimately died for Me! But only one asked to walk on the water. He had a special adventure with Me, a special memory. Living for Me and dying for Me are not optional; they are part of the package of discipleship. But there are special adventures and fun memories you can have along the way if you want to. It’s up to you.
The second thing I want you to see is that it is all about our relationship, just ours, yours and Mine. Peter walked on water in the context of his relationship with Me. He asked Me to call him out on the water if it was really Me. That was a Peter-like thing to do! What a crazy sign to ask Me for! Anybody could have said the word “come” and Peter didn’t know for sure it was REALLY Me until he stepped out of the boat and the water held him. He risked his life first and made sure afterwards. I loved that about him. I know that you do NOT have that personality, and I am more than totally fine with that. I made you the way you are. And in the context of OUR relationship, we will have our own adventures.
Once Peter was walking towards Me on the water, he had to keep his focus on only Me. If he looked at the waves, or if he worried what the other people watching from the boat were thinking about him, either good or bad, he would start to sink. But if he kept his eyes fixed firmly on Jesus, even water couldn’t sink him! That is the part that is true of you too every day. For example, if you fix your eyes on all the reasons you think you can’t sleep or get enough sleep, you won’t be able to sleep. But if you fix your eyes on Me and seek my kingdom first in everything, sleep will be added to you as well. You will see.
You can’t walk on water by trying. It is only that I have so much authority that if I tell you to come to Me on the water, it becomes possible. Anything I command becomes possible because I said so. So you never need to fear to obey. If I said it, it will be possible for you. I only need your faith and obedience. I don’t need you to scientifically engineer the surface of the water, I only need you to pick up your feet.
Only Peter ever got to do that physical walk on water thing, and so it is a special memory for both of us, but everyone has been inspired to walk on water metaphorically by his story. For you in this season, it looks like trusting Me with your sleep. There will be many other kinds too. Whenever you ask “good what ifs”, you are feeding faith and keeping your eyes on Me and walking on water. Whenever you ask bad what ifs, you are looking at the waves–even if the waves are really there– and you start to sink and I have so many ways to pull you up and rescue you!
I told all my children to keep their eyes fixed on Me all the days of their lives, in Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” You know so much more about Me than Peter did in that moment! He didn’t know yet about My death and resurrection, but you do. He didn’t fully understand who I AM yet the way he did later and you do now. But you know these things. And so it is EASIER for you to follow Me in taking risks, symbolized by walking on water, than it was for Peter. Because you know the whole story.
And so I didn’t tell you in My word in Hebrews to fix your eyes on Me as I walk on water, as Peter did, but to fix your eyes on My courageous cross and triumphant resurrection and where I am now, sitting with My Father. Because that is your story. Anything I ask you to suffer and give up and endure patiently, whether big or small, is the cross. The way I redeem it is the resurrection. And the reward that is coming is to sit beside Me on My throne, just as I sat beside My Father on His throne. If you will keep your eyes fixed firmly on these three things (the cross, the resurrection, and the reward) you will NEVER “sink,” I promise you. You will endure like I did, you will emerge like I did, and you will sit here beside Me to tell Me all about it. I promise. So never give up. I am so proud of you.”