The Gospels are four books of wild trekking through Israel by Jesus and his crew, and honestly, Jesus called his disciples into some radical places. He drew them close and sent them out often, and each time He did so it was with a purpose and for a mission.
When we read one of the Ignite Conference theme scriptures, from the Gospel of Matthew, we see another crazy mission, and another really hard choice.
The disciples are on a boat in the sea of Galilee during a storm, and Peter gets out of the boat to cross to Jesus who walks on water. It’s pretty cool, and it’s pretty famous. Stuck in a sinking boat in the middle of a wild storm, Peter needs to decide if he will stay or get out, and trust that with his eyes on Jesus, he can walk across the water to safety.
Generally, I cling pretty tight to the ‘yeah but’. Yeah but, Peter could physically see Jesus in front of him. Yeah but, Peter began to sink; his faith wasn’t great enough to keep him afloat. Yeah but, what if Christ hadn’t reached him in time, what then?
I think about all the ways that I could possibly have failed if I was Peter – I take the doubts, the fears, the insecurities that I have and I put them on Peter like a little kid dressing up a doll. Layer by layer. Every reason I can think of to stay in the creaky, sinking boat that I’m in.
I mentioned this to someone recently, and they hit back with the strongest ‘yeah but’ I’ve heard. Yeah but, he did it anyway. There is a call on each of us to simply get out of the boat, just like Peter did.
Peter knew all those things about himself – he knew he was proud, stubborn, plagued by doubt and heavy with sin. He’d been wrong before, many times, and he’d been schooled for it. He’d failed, sinned, gotten mad and had to start all over again with Jesus. But he got out of the boat anyway. In the darkness, he called out to a God that he felt was distant from him. Peter told Jesus that he would be obedient if he called him - and Jesus did. ‘He said, “Come.”