Do you like to be the first one to try something? With me, it depends on the situation. If I know I have to do something difficult, then I want to go ahead and get it done. There is no point in putting off the inevitable.
In Ghana there is a canopy walk made up of 7 suspension bridges that are between 150 to 300 feet above ground. They are made of rope and boards that are only about 6-8 inches wide. When the wind blows, the bridges may swing a bit in the trees. I had heard about this canopy walk; however, I came face to face with it in 2005 when I led my first short term mission trip to Ghana. My children were on the team and they were 8 and 10 years old. The team was all excited about the canopy walk and I was petrified. There was only one problem, I was the team leader and my children were looking to me to feel comfortable and secure on the canopy walk. My husband is even more terrified of heights than I am, so there was no shot of deferring to him for peace of mind for the children.
We walked up the long path and there I was, face to face with the first bridge. The frightening thing was once you stepped out there, you were committed until the end. There was no escape route. There was no trap door. There were 7 bridges to safety once you took the first step. With my children and my team following me, I took the first step. The fear never really went away, but the beauty I witnessed and the thrill of doing something I’d never done before was worth it. I was overcoming my fear, even if I didn’t want to do it.
Those who want to make a difference in the world are trail blazers and wave makers. No one ever impacted the world by simply following the path many gone down. In Matthew 14:22-33 we read about Peter walking on the water. Most sermons you hear on this passage focus on verses 30-33, Peter’s failure. They tend to focus on how Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and sank.
Don’t miss the miracle. Peter walked on water. Verse 29 says “’Come,’ He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” He did it. Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and he wanted to do it. He never asked “Hey, can I do that too? Is it possible?” He simply said “Call me to do it too, if it’s You” [Susan translation]. Then we see the first miracle of the story…”Peter got down out of the boat.” Think about this for a moment. Peter had a crowd of people watching him. They heard him tell Jesus to call him out there to walk on the water too. Walking on water wasn’t something they saw people do every day. This was as much a miracle to them seeing Jesus walk on water as it would be to you and me.
Peter wanted to be like Jesus so much, he didn’t let his mind talk him out of doing what Jesus was doing. He didn’t try to rationalize it. He also didn’t listen to the voice of others. I can imagine the other disciples looking at him saying things like, “Man, you’re nuts. He isn’t stepping on stones out there. Are you crazy?” He simply wanted to do what he saw Jesus doing and when Jesus invited him to join Him, he jumped at the opportunity, literally. Because Peter took the leap of faith, he walked on water. He experienced a miracle. He didn’t do it for a long time, but he is the only disciple who walked on water. Because of his willingness to climb out of the boat, he had a testimony to share. He could tell others of a miracle he personally experienced by putting his complete and total trust in Jesus.
What is Jesus inviting you to do? Are you willing to join Him? Are you willing to ignore the voices of others and focus solely on His voice to do what He is inviting you to do? Do you want to be like Him more than anything else in the world and do what you see Him doing? He is before you today, inviting you. Do you hear Him? He’s not giving a long drawn out invitation with an explanation of what to expect, how to handle it and what the end results will be. He simply says, “Come.” Will you?