How about boat jumping?
I want to be a boat jumper! How about you?
One of my favorite stories in the Bible has been hanging around in my head and my heart again for the past few weeks. You may not know the story of Peter and Jesus found in Matthew 14 but here’s the basics. After a long day of ministry Jesus and the disciples go different ways with the plan to meet up later. The disciples get in a boat and head out on the lake. Jesus heads towards the hills to take some time to pray. As time passes the passage says that the disciples find themselves in a storm out on the lake.
We get the idea that they are scared! If that’s not enough, off in the distance they see someone walking towards them ‘on the lake’. Yeah, someone walking on the lake that appears to be a ghost. Again, we get the picture that they are even more scared.
As the ghost approaches they realize that it’s not a ghost but someone they actually know: Jesus. Jesus approaches and engages his friends with these words; "Have courage. It’s me. Don’t be afraid!” With these words, Jesus gives them the prescription of how to live a life of risk and faith! Peter engages Jesus in this conversation and says, "if it’s really you Jesus, call me out on the water with you." Jesus responds, "come". And for a brief few moments, Peter is doing something that’s mind blowing. Peter is standing on the water; like Jesus. Peter is walking on top of the water; like Jesus.
As the story progresses we see Peter lose a bit of his faith and courage and he starts to sink into the lake. Jesus quickly rescues him, leads him back to the boat and uses this as a teaching lesson about faith to him and the disciples. It’s here where many of us have heard the challenges in the past on how to have stronger faith. Great words and great lessons from Jesus that we all need to learn.
However, here’s the nugget in the story I love the most. Peter actually got out of the boat! Obviously, this is nothing new to the story and I’m certainly not the first to say this. But the fact is, he actually got out of the boat. He actually walked on the water. He actually put some action to his courage. So, here's a question. Where were the rest of the disciples? Still in the boat! It doesn't matter if they were sitting or if they were standing. It’s just that they stayed in the boat.
In that moment Peter experienced something in his life that none of the the disciples ever experienced. In that moment he became a boat jumper! The other disciples were great men; many of which sacrificed their lives for the cause of Christ. But in this moment, they were content with staying put. They were boat sitters. Peter was the only one who got out of the boat and had this unique faith building, courageous and life altering moment personally with Jesus.
When I read that story I desire in my own heart to be like Peter. To do what Peter did. I want to be a boat jumper in my life. In fact, I've tried and I’m trying to be a person, a father, a husband and a leader who boat jumps. I want to have courage! I don’t want to be afraid! I want to put a trust in Christ that moves me from not just believing but to doing!
How about you?
This is part of the reason why we are planting Turning Point Church! There is something deep within us where we feel Jesus saying the same words to us, ‘come’. Words like, "walk. Have courage! Don't be afraid." And so, our family feels like it’s time to crawl out of the boat, put a foot on the water and start walking with Jesus. To be boat jumpers.
Would you consider doing it with us? Seriously! Would you consider being a part of this new expression of the local church in SW Florida? We desire to have people get out and walk with us. Maybe to pray? Maybe to join the team? Maybe to even give? If you’d like to consider how to play a part in this water walking, boat jumping experience, check out the details here.
But again, let me even ask you outside of the idea of Turning Point Church.
How about you?
Boat jumper or boat sitter?