Have you ever heard a story over and over and got nothing out of it and then suddenly one day the exact same story brings a completely new light onto your situation? Today I was reading in one of my “Christian self-help books” (might as well acknowledge it for what it is! :) and the author was discussing the concept “fear not.” He notes that this is a command given throughout the Bible and one that we often do not pay attention to. To illustrate his point of the importance and value of “fear not” he told the story of Peter walking on water. Here’s what he says:
“The story begins in Matthew 14 as Peter jumps out of the boat to join Jesus on the water. At first, Peter’s eyes are fixed on Jesus and he walks toward Him, but as soon as he becomes aware of his surroundings and turns his eyes off of Christ, he begins to sink.
Did Peter fail? Well, yes, he took his eyes off Christ, but…there were eleven bigger failures who remained in the boat. Only Peter knew the humiliation of public failure, while simultaneously knowing what it felt like to walk on water, to trust God completely, if only for a moment. The eleven other disciples were safe, secure, and comfortable, but had no comprehension of Peter’s initial joy. Failure is a frame of mind.”
As I read this, the thought occurred to me that the joy of walking on water, of trusting in God completely, was something that I want to experience. So often our fears keep us from taking the risks that God asks us to. Only by truly trusting in God completely will we ever experience the joy of walking on water and the joy of knowing that we are keeping our eyes on Christ. When I read this earlier today the song that came to mind was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It’s an old classic, but it was comforting to sing. Tonight at church one of the choruses we sang was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Since we don’t often sing this chorus, it was a wonderful reminder that God truly has a way of bringing His peace and confirming that He is at work.