Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walk on [ice] Water

I slowly turned into my apartment complex, feeling pretty good about myself. "Ha, they were all worried about the ice. Puh. I'm from New England...we got this." It was at that moment that I began to feel the tug on my car. I instantly went into "New England" mode. Don't hit the brakes, go with the slide, don't jerk, just relax. Graciously I pulled it out. The pride continued to swell. Then, round 2.

Result: Ice/Pole 1 Matt 1

Ever wonder how the disciples, many of them fishermen by trade, actually became scared multiple times while out to sea in the Scripture? I mean if these guys were in the Navy they would be ridiculed all the time! I can almost see Tom Hanks, in that gruff, drunk voice: "There's no crying in fishing!" Yet, when we get to the later part of Chapter 14 we see them scared...again. This is how the Message Bible describes it: "Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves....they were scared out of their wits." Matthew 14:22-23

Result: Disciples 0 Storms 2

I pulled my car away from the pole just waiting to see the scratches and dents in my stalwart beauty. Maybe this time she wouldn't hold up. After all we've been through, the time to throw in the towel drew nigh. Yet, as I slid away from the pole and back onto the icy road, nothing felt out of place. I parked the car, looked down at my tires and there wasn't a scratch or a dent from the impact! I mean we could get all logical and say I wasn't going to fast or that the curb slowed the impact and yada yada yada but the question really came to my mind: What if the opposite were true? What if someone picked me up....

The story continues in the book of Matthew: "At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits." Matthew 14:25-26 I read this passage and wonder if this was a normal experience for Christ? I mean you read it and it's almost like Jesus makes it a habit to walk on water! The disciples get up early in the morning and go jogging and there goes Jesus again, doing a power walk across the Galilee. Show off! Jesus walks on the water that was impossible for fishermen to manage. Think of that! This is like Jesus coming up to you on your job...with no training...and doing 10x better then you! He is walking on water that fishermen couldn't sail on~!
It was interesting that as my car began to slide that I had such dual emotions. The prideful, pompous "I'm a New Englander" gave way to the Peter, help me Jesus I'm drowning side. I do have to admit though that while I would like to make my "sinking" moment a little more spiritual, I actually uttered (I'm so not kidding on this) Jesus take the wheel. Makes you wonder if Peter would have said the same thing?

So usually when talking about this passage in Matthew, this is where there is some type of diss on Peter for sinking. That isn't going to happen in this one. Like Peter, I sank, I cried out desperately for Jesus to save me. Only after I got over myself. Only after I let go of my own supposed "background". Only after I realize that no matter what skill I had, or where I hail from, it's only Jesus who can walk on water and save me when I can't. And like the disciples, it is easy to cry out: "This is it! You are God's Son for sure!" If He can walk on water folks, I'm sure He can handle ice, even when obviously I can't.

Final Result: "Courage, it's me. Don't be afraid."


"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14