Let me set the scene.
The disciples see Jesus walking toward them on the water and are afraid.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14: 27-31
Henri Rousseau was a self taught artist. Beginning his career later in life, he came onto the art scene during an interesting transitional time. The Impressionists, Fauves, and Post-Impressionist were shaking up the art world. Rousseau's work found itself in the mist of this. Critics felt his art was terribly child like, and had nothing redeeming to say about it. However, he persevered. Rousseau continued to paint, show his work, and push forward. He was not going to let the waves of "popular opinion" keep him from pursing his dream. He could have never pursued his dream, he could have retreated when he heard the harsh words of the critics, he could have tried to fit more into what was "acceptable', he could have returned to the "comfort" of his old job, BUT HE DIDN'T. He did not let fear keep him from stepping out and doing what was in his heart to do. Today, Henri Rousseau is considered to be one of the world's greatest artists, and his critics....long forgotten.
When I read in Matthew 14 about Peter attempting to walk to Jesus, what catches my attention is not the fact that Peter began to sink. I think all of us that follow Christ know there are times where we find ourselves "sinking" because we have taken our eyes off the Lord. It happens. No, I'm amazed that Peter got out of the boat! Though Peter was pretty impetuous, and it wasn't completely out of character to do such a thing. I wonder what the other disciples were thinking? "OH THAT PETER?!?" "Now that Peter has done it, I want to do it!"(Doubting Thomas) "Well, now we're going to have to find a new disciple!" ha ha Maybe they were kicking themselves for not getting out of the boat too?
I sometimes think the hardest part is "getting out of the boat". The fears of what "might be" can paralyze us. How many times have we hesitated or completely ignored a prompting of the Holy Spirit? Maybe the Lord wanted us to speak to someone, but we didn't want to come off crazy..or didn't want to "bother" them. Has the Lord asked you to change professions, go on short term mission trips, start a bible study, give financially to someone or some ministry, or mentor a younger believer? Are you afraid to step out of the boat and do what He is asking you? I know it is hard. But, I also know...HE IS FAITHFUL! Don't fear what the "critics" might say. They often speak from a place of not understanding. The voice you need to listen to is the Lords.
Be like Rousseau & Peter, and take a step of faith! Don't let the distractions from those around you...or the things around you to keep you from pursuing what you know you should be!
Dear Jesus, help us to get out of the boat!
Allow us to know you in a way that removes all fear & doubt.
May our hearts be sensitive to Your leading, and
may our ears be quick to hear Your voice.
The waves of the world...the words of the critics have no
power over us. Greater is He who is in me...than he who is in the world!
In Your Name....AMEN