I recently released my new podcast! You can find The Walking on Water Podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms.
Let's get started!
Season 1, Episode 1
I’m excited to begin this journey of sharing hope, humor and encouragement here on Walking on Water.
I chose the name Walking on water because it is a phrase I have loved for a long time. I even named this, my blog, after it years ago.
It came about through some dark seasons in my life where I felt like I was drowning in a sea of fear, hurt and the demands of life.. Jesus kept reminding me of the story in Matthew 14 where He invited Peter to walk with Him on water.
I want to read the story to you. We’ll start in verse 22.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Isn’t that an amazing story?
If you’re like me and grew up hearing Bible stories - sometimes we lose the awe of the miracle we can find inside the story. But let’s break this down and look a little deeper.
If you go back and read earlier in this chapter, it tells how Jesus’ cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had just been beheaded. It’s easy to read this and not stop to consider how this news must have affected Jesus.
This is His cousin.. His friend. The other one who was born under miraculous circumstances.
The two men would have grown up with a unique bond due to the miracles surrounding their births. And they both knew they had a huge calling on their lives.
Now John’s life had ended… Think about the emotions that Jesus must have been feeling that day. The grief, the pain. I know that personally, I would have wanted to be alone with my thoughts.. But though He tried to take time away, the crowds followed Him.
And even in His grief, Jesus had compassion on them and healed them.
This gives me comfort to know the heart of Jesus.. That His love and compassion for the brokenness of humanity drove Him to put His own desires aside in order to care for the hurting.
I feel moms everywhere know how He felt in those moments! When we JUST WANT A MOMENT TO CATCH OUR BREATH… and the crowds of children and people and things press in wanting more of our time and attention.
Jesus put His own needs aside.. But only for a time.. And then He tried again.. This time successfully. There’s a lesson in that for us. Take a moment. Take time for yourself - especially when dealing with hard things.
Jesus didn’t get angry at the people for needing Him. He wasn’t feeling sorry for Himself and slamming doors and stomping around as He cared for those in need. He did what needed to be done and then sent them away.
BOUNDARIES ARE OK!
What does “sending them away” look like for you?
A few months ago, I went away.. I took a week to spend time away from everything and focus on healing and my relationship with the Lord. I hope to tell more about that at a later date.. But that experience showed me how important it is to set clear boundaries. To have intentional time to be alone. Silent. Shut off the phone… listen.. Write what the Lord speaks over me.. If Jesus needed it, then you and I both know we need it too!
It’s hard to perform the day to day tasks when we are swimming in a sea of pain and grief.
This part of the story can actually be an encouragement to us when we see Jesus having to deal with the hard things we can look and see what He did about it and use that as an example for our own lives.
If Jesus needed to be purposeful and intentional about time alone with the Father, how much more do you and I?
So next - after Jesus has had time alone to pray, He sees the disciples struggling on the lake. Restored and refreshed from His time alone with the Father, Jesus goes to His disciples - by walking out across the water.
Peter sees Him and is freaked out - rightfully so!
Imagine the chaos - the rocking boat on the stormy waters.. The darkness.. The fear.. And the uncertainty of what they were seeing moving across the waters towards them!
Jesus calls out to them and says, “Don’t be afraid! It’s Me!”
I can just see Peter rubbing at His eyes in disbelief.. But then there in the chaos of the churning waters and darkness and fear, something unexpected wells up inside of Peter.. Unexpected courage causes him to cry out to Jesus.. Peter said, “Jesus, if it’s you, invite me to come to You.”
Can that be the same cry of our hearts today?
Jesus!! Invite me to come to You!!
Because, He will! He’s inviting us daily to come to Him.
But He didn’t do it alone - no, He invited Peter to join Him.
And He invites us to do the same in our lives today.
He knows the hurt from yesterday, the demands from today and the fears for tomorrow.. And He invites us to climb out of our place of comfort and assumed safety and join Him above the crashing waves.
He reminds us to keep our eyes on Him and when we intentionally lift our eyes off of our situations, and shift our focus back to Him, it is then where we can experience peace in our heart once again.
It’s like that old song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”? I used to sing that song over my kids when they were babies and the truth of those words took root in my heart and in my mind.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Such simple but profound words.
And what power we have access to - to be able to rise above our hurts, our challenges, our fears… by shifting our attention to Jesus. To tell Him what we’re facing and receive His perspective on each situation.
It’s something that’s easier said than done. Even as I am preparing to share this, I’m dealing with a frustrating injustice that has me wanting to go on a rant to anyone who will listen! You know those moments? When you find yourself typing and deleting over and over and over again because Holy Spirit says you’re not allowed to say what you REALLY want to say?
And then you find peace.. Life goes on and SUDDENLY BAM - there it is again.. And if you don’t choose to take your thoughts captive and TELL YOUR MIND WHAT IT’S ALLOWED TO THINK ABOUT, you suddenly find yourself right back in that cycle of stinking thinking..
This too is like Peter. He took His eyes off of Jesus and suddenly he goes from walking by faith and experiencing the supernatural to returning to the common way of living - taking stock of our situations in life and then comparing them to our own abilities, resources and strength. Which ALMOST ALWAYS comes up short and it leaves us feeling angry, overwhelmed and weak.
Jesus didn’t leave Peter there in his moment of weakness. No… this is when Jesus came even closer..
Isn’t that comforting..
To know that when Peter was being swallowed up there in the chaotic darkness that was his life, Jesus reached out and pulled him back up to safety.
So what does that look like for us today?
The simple answer is to do what Peter did - cried out to Jesus.. Master! Save me!
Jesus is the end all be all answer that I have found when life is pulling me down into that pit of despair.
At the same time, Jesus has also taught me ways to stay on course.. To train my brain to keep my thoughts centered on Him.
I want to look at that and many other subjects here in this space.
So click that subscribe button and invite a friend to join us as well.
In the coming weeks and months, I hope to encourage women, moms, wives and teens here on Walking on Water.
You have a purpose. Your life has value.
And one thing I know - God did not create you to live a life of fear, depression, anxiety, anger and bitterness.. That is not the life you are called to!
Jesus said, in John 10:10 The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
Other versions say Life to the full!
This is the life you’re called to.
What does that look like? A full life?
For each of us, it’s different, but at the heart of it all, we can find supernatural strength, peace and joy when we turn our eyes upon Jesus for each and every moment we face.