Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wave Tripping

In the past two weeks, I have heard several people make reference to the impulsive nature of the apostle Peter. They have discussed his "act first--think later" approach to life. When we look at the recorded snippets of Peter's life, we learn to know him as one of the inner three, one of the trusted followers, one who was closer to Messiah than many others. But we also remember him as the one who denied Christ, not once, not twice, but three times, just shortly after avowing to follow Jesus anywhere, even to the grave. And. . .we remember him as the one who boldly walked out on the water only to be overtaken by fear and rescued by Jesus.
Matthew 14 tells us this story. You know the story, Jesus has sent the disciples on ahead of Him. They get into the boat to cross the lake, leaving Jesus to dismiss the crowd and spend some quiet time alone with His Father. When it is time to rejoin His disciples, they are already out in the middle of the lake and the waves are pounding the boat. But our Messiah is undaunted by the waves. He begins walking across the waves. You know the rest--the disciples are afraid, believing they see a ghost. Jesus reassures them and Peter says, "If it is you, tell me to come to you on the water." Jesus says "come" and Peter musters his courage and steps out onto the waves. We know that he takes a few steps and becomes afraid, causing him to sink.Jesus reaches out His hand, pulls him to safety and asks "why the doubt"?
Peter has gotten a bad rap for this incident for many years. Although the text does say he doubted, we have overlooked the fact that he was the only one who got out of the boat in the first place. We know these apostles struggled with being the best and being first. Wouldn't it seem that one of the others would have also stepped out? That they would have either tried to get out before Peter or tried to follow right after him? Yet apparently, they merely sat and watched.
I have often wondered which disciple I am most like. Am I a Simon Peter, who bravely steps into the water when the Lord says "Come"? Do I take a few steps and then become afraid, only to call for Jesus to rescue me, taking His hand and following on? Or am I sitting in the boat, still a disciple, but mostly an observer, watching others answer the call---watching others trip on the waves and begin to sink, watching others be rescued by Messiah, while I thankfully cling to the safety of my boat? I think I would rather be Peter. I want to be the kind of disciple that first of all questions--"Is that you?" After all, I want to be sure that the one I am fixin to follow is indeed the Savior of the World. I want to be the kind of disciple that comes when Jesus calls, regardless of the waves and the darkness around me. I want to be the kind of disciple that does something that has never been done before---simply because Jesus asks me to do so. And when the waves of doubt or fear trip me up, when I begin to sink, I want to be the kind of disciple that calls on His saving grace and reaches out to take the hand of the Lord, rather than paddle like mad back to the boat in an attempt to save myself. I want to be like Peter.
Peter is more than a sermon illustration about impulsivity and denying Christ. He is an example of visible, audible, undeniable faith. His faith is not subdued. Yes, he denied Christ, but we all do that by our actions everyday. When Peter was convicted of his sin, the text says he wept bitterly. So similar to the shepherd king David--evidence of a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Like David, Peter's stumbles served to make him a stronger force in the faith. That is powerful. The waves may have tripped him once, but he called out to God and accepted rescue. What a faith! What a man! What an example!

Neva

12 Comments:

Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Have no doubt, my friend, you are definately a Simon Peter. I liked this one, so add it to the list.
Kathy

As a fellow Peter, James says he is busy stepping out on faith right now and will write later.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Too often in my life, in many aspects, I find myself sitting in the boat watching the scene unfold before me. Thanks for the challenge to try & be more like Peter, that great man of faith. :) Grace & peace to you.

11:42 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Neva,
Great post.
Peter is a great example to us all of great faith. The others stayed in the boat when Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water and follow Jesus. Peter denyed Christ but how many times do we as Christian deny Christ daily by the way we live our lives. Oh, for a faith like Peter. What an example. I love Jesus reaction to Peter as well Jesus doesn't after Peter denies Jesus say get out of here Peter i want nothing do with you. but he accept peter uncondictionaly. I thank God every day for that unconditional love and grace.
Neva thank you for this post and reminding me to day of Peter and his faithfulness.
Keep up the great blogging.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes the only words to say after reading your blog are Amen and Amen

Dan

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always love your posts--you say just what I need to hear. Thank you

Jean

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this is spot on!! We need to get our behinds out of the boat and invest in our Faith.
Good job,
Pat

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still working on getting you here for a ladies day and still loving your blog everyday. Keep up the good work. You will be hearing from me.

Because of Him
Rachel

6:24 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Love the post, Neva!

Peter is one of my favorites too. As has been said by so many, I can so identify with him - risk taker, loyal [even though with some flexible borders at times. lol], brash, passionate friend, and able to accept God's grace and forgiveness.

I've heard it said that when you know the storms on that ferocious sea, Peter was really the only sane one of the 12. The small boat was probably in danger of becoming awash and maybe even of sinking. The others clung to false security in that tossing boat. Peter saw His LORD and wanted to go the safety of His side. He faltered, but still accepted the outreached hand of Jesus when he began to sink. Oh, to be just like Peter! Hopefully and I will always reach out to Jesus, no matter my circumstances. He's the only one that is secure and life-saving. PTL!

Love your blog, Neva!

In His love, grace and mercy

K

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thoughts!!


Karin

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have often thought about Peter and the fact that even though he was the only one to sink in the water, he was the only one brave enough to try walking on it.
Good post.

Love ya
Carol

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Mark Wilson said...

Paul definitely got a bad rap. He made mistakes because he TRIED. Try and try again is what he did. The others played safe - as a result they weren't chosen to lead the church.

I wrote a post about Peter and his denial of Christ and how Jesus handled it.
http://achristian.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/what-happened-to-peter/

God bless you!
Mark.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Mark Wilson said...

WHat happened to Peter

7:18 PM  

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