Get Out of the Boat

Matthew 14:23-33

For the disciples this trip across the lake began as a normal, routine activity….no adventure, no danger. Then the storm struck and everything changed. They faced circumstances beyond their control. They were scared. They needed help. Peter wanted to go to Jesus. But in order to do so, he had to leave the boat. Jesus did not offer Peter a life preserver or inflatable raft. His only choice was to get out of the boat – totally, completely, entirely out of the boat.

For us life can be much like that midnight cruise. We sail along, comfortable and satisfied, with all our life problems under control. Each day is like the last. Life is good. Then the storms hit. We do our best to solve them and save ourselves, but soon realize we can’t. Then we turn to Jesus, call his name and beg for assistance.

And his reply to us is the same as it was to Peter….”Come.” But it will require us to get out of the boat.

At this point we tend to want to negotiate with Jesus. We say “Lord, you know I want to come to you, but I want to stay here, too. Can’t you come closer and get in the boat with me?”

And He replies “Come.”

Each of us has our unique boat that we hesitate to leave. It may be labeled Financial Security, with seats named mutual funds, savings accounts, IRAs, stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Another may be labeled Comfort, with seats named home, health, friends, community or church.

Some boats are named Family, with seats called husband, wife, parents, children or grandchildren. If our boat is Reputation the seats will be Chairman, CEO, President, Pastor, fame, recognition , champion or title.

Still others of us may have a boat called Pleasure, where the seats have names such as plane, sports car, fishing, hunting, golf, music or liquor. In the boat Knowledge are the seats of published paper, debate, expert, accuracy, or tenure. Some boats are even titled Church where the seats are pastor, deacon, teacher, singer, elder or tradition.

Moving closer to Jesus almost always involves moving further from something else. What seat is so comfortable that I will not leave it to go to Jesus? Do I really believe that what I will gain will be better than what I might lose?