This past summer, our family went on vacation.
One afternoon, I stood in the hotel’s pool and tried to get Chloe to jump to me. She refused.
While I stood only a few feet from the pool’s side, to Chloe it must have looked like an immeasurable distance over open water. She just couldn’t bring herself to leave the safety of the concrete and jump into the water, even though Daddy was right there, holding out his arms to catch her.
Finally, I realized her predicament. I walked to the side of the pool and took her by the hands. A smile lit up her face and she jumped with wild abandon — for the next hour and a half. I think she wore a track into the concrete as she jumped to me, got out and ran back to the spot where she could jump to me again.
It made me think about Peter. He was with the rest of the disciples, the wind knocking their boat all around (Matthew 14:22-32). Suddenly, they see Jesus walking to them on the water.
Between them was a vast expanse of angry water. Surely, it must have been safer in the boat than in the drink. But Peter had other ideas. Something told Peter it was safer with Jesus on the angry water than it was in the boat without him.
So Peter jumped. He jumped out of the boat and started walking — on the water! — toward Jesus. I wonder how long it took him for the reality of his situation to catch up with him? At some point it did, because Peter started focusing on the wind and the waves instead of on Jesus. He started to sink.
Peter cried out, "Lord, save me" (v. 30)! Short, sweet and to the point, isn’t it?
What did Jesus do? "Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him" (v. 31).
I believe our heavenly father wants all of us to "get out of the boat." He wants us all to leave the relative safety and comfort of where we find ourselves, jump out on faith and walk with him. Sure, it’s a scary proposition. But he is there with us. And if we start to sink, all we have to do is call out to him, knowing he will rescue us.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column appears every other week in Sunday Life.