Monday, March 16, 2015

The Extraordinary Reach

I love envisioning the Word. How about you? I  have come to enjoy reading the Word aloud. It makes it more personal for me. I too have learned not to speed up too fast through scripture, but to stay put for a while until I hear the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. 

Recently I have been reading in Matthew 14. It's the story of Peter, the apostles, and the storm that had them scared motionless. I shared a few thoughts here in the post, He Goes The Extra Mile. I thought maybe I was finished, but the Spirit had more to share with me. Take a look and read the verses below. 

"Immediately Jesus spoke to them. "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's You", Peter answered to Him, "command me to come to You on the water." "Come!" He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14:27-31

Peter steps out of the boat. To experience Jesus we have to make the choice to step out of the boat. Those in the boat seen something extraordinary, but they didn't experience it like Peter. 

Peter starts out, one step at a time, one foot right in front of the other. Waves crashing around him. Winds whipping in excess. Maybe he looked down. He could have looked back. But for whatever reason he took his eyes off the Savior. Something had his attention and this caused him to begin sinking. Doesn't this happen to us in our daily journey with Jesus? I can be walking right along, my eyes upon Him the whole way, and then something happens and I'm no longer focused on Him leading me. My steps get jumbled and there I am calling to Him once again to save me. 

Peter starts to sink. What I love is this: Peter cried out to Jesus. He didn't turn back to the safety of the boat. Not the comfort of his friends. He turned to his Savior. That gives this girl chills of glory. How about you? Jesus was the first name on Peter's lips. 

What we see next is Jesus reaching out to him. Don't miss the importance here. Jesus reached for Peter, but Peter had to reach back. He had to believe and trust in the One who called him to come. 

It takes courage to be obedient to Christ. Not courage we find in what 'self'can accomplish, but courage to reach out in hope and faith in a God who will never allow us to sink beyond His reach. 

Through life we will question who our friends truly are. We turn and expect them to be there, but we look back for their support and they aren't in our reach. See, we are an imperfect bunch. We like to stay in the safety of the boat. We like our comfort zone. But what Peter realized was safety wasn't in the boat. It was in his Savior and the only way to reach him was taking a leap of faith. 

We are too hard on one another. We expect from others what we ourselves are unable or unwilling to give. We always want others to help us in our time of need, but how many of us are willing to step out and help others when it is uncomfortable or unaccommodating for us? 

We will never find in another what we can only find in our Jesus. Don't limit him by staying in the boat. When we stay in our comfort zone we are going to miss out on the extraordinary. 

It may be frightening. We might be the only one willing to step out. On this day, it was Peter who stepped out in faith and by grabbing a hold of his Savior's reaching hand his faith grew. 

Peter didn't allow his fear to hold him back. He moved in his fear willing to take a chance on his Savior, his Friend. How about you? Are you willing to take a chance on Jesus? What do you have to lose? You may just get the chance to not only see something extraordinary, but to experience it!

There is no distance too wide, no depth too deep for our Savior's reach! 


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