It was the first summer after college that I was directing a Girls camping program. We would take teen girls for a seven-day camp-out on an Island in the beautiful Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada. It was the last stretch of a 3-day canoe trip.
The wind bit into me. The unexpected storm white capped the water, rocking the canoe. What had started as a simple ride around the islands had turned into a major storm. If Lula didn’t pick up her paddle and literally pull her own weight, we could be blown a long way from shore, with nothing in the canoe but light windbreakers and life jackets, and no way to signal for help.
“Lula, put your paddle back in the water and pull—hard!” I yelled over my shoulder, putting as much authority into my voice as I could muster. Indeed, I knew that I did not have the physical strength required to turn the canoe alone into the wind to head for shore.
After the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side. During the middle of the night, a severe storm came up. Jesus saw the disciples struggling so walked on the water towards them. The disciples were frightened, thinking it was a ghost.
In eleven short words Jesus gave them the keys to breakthrough. “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” If we can remember to remain encouraged, He is with us and not to be afraid, we will make it through any storm.
In looking at Peter’s example, he was at peace as long as he focused on Jesus. The instant he took his eyes off Jesus, and focused on his circumstances, he began sinking. In the middle of our emotional crises, we have to let go of our anxiety and trust Him to experience His peace. Learning to walk on water is a skill.
When Peter began sinking, he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus could have rescued him before he cried out but He needs for us to call on Him.
The disciples were greatly amazed and marveled. “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” Jesus was right in front of them with the feeding of the 5,000 but they missed what He had for them.
He walked on the water, “and would have passed them by” if they had not called out to Him. Now, it was up to them to take the initiative. From Mark 6:45-52, Matthew 14:22-33.
Our challenge is not only to get on top of the waves but to walk on water daily. He will meet us on the other side.
Linda offers wonderful tools to stay above the waves in her new book Uncovering the Champion Within. She is available for speaking engagements and fundraisers to help pre-launch her book this summer. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 661-943-4700 or go to www.LindaAOlson.com