When the waters of life start swirling around me, I often react by trying to taken more and more control over a situation. A problem arises and I want to squash it. Of course, I think I’ve got the perfect plan to do so. But in reality when I do this, my life starts looking like a very unsuccessful game of whack-a-mole. I’m hammering away at all of the problems popping up, but every strike misses the mark and I’m left a little more tired with each swing. And just like in a good game of whack-a-mole, I have become hyper focused on the object that I’m trying to hammer down. My life becomes problem-centric, my thoughts obsessed with trying to fix and control what is bothering me.
Occasionally, I have moments of lucidness where I come up for air and realize that how I’m spending my days is how I’m spending my life. That when I play whack-a-mole with my problems, I become riddled with worry, irritable, and unsettled. As those closest to me could tell you, I’m not that fun to be around when I’m like this and require a lot of patience/energy to deal with. I don’t want to spend my days, and really, my life, this way. I want to be steady in the storm, instead of frenzied.
Jesus shows us that He holds the keys to the kind of unflappable, peaceful response to life and it’s challenges that we’re looking for. Tucked away in the story of Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), are precious truths that can help change how we approach our lives and our problems. In the passage, Jesus walks on water, through a storm, to reach the disciples’ boat. When Peter realizes that it is Jesus, and that Jesus is really walking on water, He asks to be able to walk on water too. Jesus allows him to come and so Peter steps out and moves forward toward the Master. But they are in the midst of a storm, and the action of the storm and the whipping winds tug Peter’s eyes away from Jesus. And as Peter’s eyes turn, down his feet sink into the unforgiving waters below. Jesus mercifully rescues him and places him back in the boat, but points out the doubt that lead to his desperation.
While we may not be walking on physical water like Jesus and Peter, we too scale the tumultuous waters of life every day. In Matthew, we learn that placing our focus on the storm (the problems of life) instead of the Savior will cause us to sink. When we’re consumed with what we’re facing and how impossible it feels to make it through, we are no longer focused on how Jesus is absolutely sufficient to empower us to handle the impossible. We cannot experience the kind of sustained peace, stability, and victory over our storms that we’re looking for if we fail to have the right focus.
It’s not about the fact that you can’t walk on water.
It’s about the fact that He can and He can make you to do it too.
“But”, you say…But, it’s impossible….But, it’s too hard…But, I don’t have the strength to make it through this. Yes, the storms of life are hard.Yes, walking on water is impossible.
But God. But God. The answer to every human trial and need is Jesus. He is the sustaining strength, the way maker, the miracle worker.
He is able to do the impossible that you can’t.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.
He is able to sustain you as you rise each day and face the impossible challenges of cancer, of depression, of joblessness, of a broken marriage, of children that have turned to drugs, of the siren call of alcohol ringing through your body. Catch hold of the truth today: it’s not about how impossible the situation is — it is completely about how able God is to do the impossible. And what God is looking for, are people like Peter, that are going to say – Lord, let me walk on the waters with you. I choose to believe that you are able to do the impossible in my situation today. But learn from the place that Peter struggled: When the winds blow harder and the waves churn, you are going to be tempted to focus on that. You’re going to be tempted to believe that somehow, EVEN THOUGH GOD IS ALREADY IN THE MIDDLE OF DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE IN YOUR LIFE, that somehow it’s just not possible. Lies. The presences of problems is not a reflection of the power of God. He is just as willing and able to sustain and deliver you as He was the moment before the storm began. His strength is unmatched, His power is unequaled, and there is nothing too difficult for Him. Come water-walkers, come do the impossible with Him.