January 29, 2020
Many years ago there was a joke going around that you had to think a few seconds about before you caught it. A friend of mine got it on me. He asked me, “Did you hear about Billy Graham getting killed”? “No” I said, “What happened?” My friend replied, “He was out walking his dog and got run over by a motor boat.”
The implication, of course, was that Billy Graham was out walking on water. And my friend asked me if I believed anyone had ever walked on water? I said according to the Bible, Peter did. It was dark and many of the followers of Jesus were in a boat on the Sea of Gallillee going to the other side. Suddenly they all saw a man walking on water and coming toward them in their boat.
They were all afraid as they thought it was a ghost. But Jesus calmed their fears and said to them, “It is I. Be not afraid.” At that time, Peter blurted out, “If it is You, Lord, bid me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus told Peter to come to Him. So Peter got out of the boat and began walking toward Jesus on the water. It was truly a miracle. There’s more to the story, but I’m sure you’re familiar with it.
Peter was often that disciple who was very flamboyant and opened his mouth and stuck his foot in it. Peter was the one who denied Christ when Jesus was arrested. He said he didn’t even know Jesus, and that his accusers must be mistaken.
But in the final analysis, it was Peter who did the most for Jesus. Peter is the one that Jesus would trust with the keys of the Kingdom. Peter is the one who will always be remembered as the one who got out of the safety of the boat and walked to where Jesus was.
Twenty something years ago, I read a book by John Ortberg. It was titled:
If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. It was a very inspiring and motivational book. I passed it around to friends and family to read. My daughter, Rachel, said that it was just the book she needed at that point in her life to cheer her up.
The book is about taking chances if you really want to do something useful with your life. Sometimes life is risky. But the outcome of the success of a dream far outweighs the risks involved. History is full of great examples of people who took chances. Many of them beginning with no money, no connections and little opportunity.
One of my favorite Biblical stories is about the life of Joseph, Abraham’s great-grandson. He really felt like God had put a special calling on his life. Not only did Joseph dream about doing great things for God, but he bragged about it to his older brothers. They were very jealous of him and eventually sold him into slavery.
For years, nothing went right with Joseph. He was lied about, and eventually spent many years in prison. But in one day Joseph went from prison to the palace and was made second in command behind the Pharoah of Egypt. Joseph would be the means of saving his family from certain starvation. It’s a long complicated story, but in God’s time Joseph was able to see his dreams come to fruition.
Sometimes we have to just keep on and keep on trying until we finally accomplish our dreams. And God’s plans in our lives. And at God’s time.
If you are not where you want to be in your life’s journey, just be patient. God will open the right door for you at the right time. His time. You may have suffered defeat and failure many times. Who hasn’t?
One of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt speeches is applicable to all people who are serious about doing something for themselves, their families, and their Creator. Roosevelt gave this speech many times beginning around 1910. It’s often referred to as his “Arena Speech.”
“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who pointed out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doers of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”
The speech is long, so I won’t quote all of it. But Roosevelt goes on and says the gladiator may fail, but at least he does so while daring greatly.
I used to love to box when I was a young man. It was lots of fun and a real challenge. But I did not win all my matches. I won some and I lost some. But at least I was trying.
That’s the scenario of life. Try as you may, you won’t win every challenge. But you learn from every loss.
Step out of the boat and take a chance of living life to the fullest.
God Bless You,