Why My Soul
Matthew 14:22-23 (NIV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The sea looks wider
The darkness closes in
My hearts says go yet
I cannot come, I don’t know how to swim
Why my soul are you downcast
Why so disturbed within me
Put your hope in God
Have you forgotten who He is
I search for oars yet none are found
All I find will only help me drown
I turn my gaze on Christ alone
He says come to Him
Though I fear the storm
My body trembles, what If I sink with my first step
Lord help my unbelief O Father draw me near
My eyes rise from the sea
I'm taking my will putting it to death
He lifts His hand and I take a step
Here I come Lord my eyes are set upon Thee
With every step take it all until there’s none but You
The waves they crash and shout and pull, try to confuse me
My God my rock my shield O You make me strong
You make me strong
You make me strong
You make me strong Lord
You make me strong
When I can’t see, I can’t find rest or understand I know You’re moving
Changing me, with every step Father don’t let up I won’t stop pursing
Until Your will is done, and my heart’s completely won
Break me of this world I pray
And when I lose my way, Lord
Please forgive me
Please forgive me God, my flesh is weak
Hear my cries, for Christ alone
I’m a broken man, pleading to the throne
For when I ask, for it to cease, don’t let it stop But consume my everything
I surrender all my life, You can have all that I am
All my pain my will my desires, Your hope sustains this
Once lost man
Do not let me go, or lose Your gaze when I
Look at the sea
Father teach me to obey, and
For Your will use me
Imagine you are out sailing on water, staring out across the sea. Clouds of darkness begin to roll in, and the waves start to rock your boat. You notice how your heart starts to pound louder and faster in your chest and your hands shake with fear. You’re not sure how you are going to survive this massive storm. Just then, words from a psalm enter your mind.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God
Rain starts to fall and you notice a familiar figure in the distance on the water. Jesus, your friend, is walking towards you. You squint and blink, but your eyes don’t deceive you. Christ walks on the same waves that cause you to tremble.
“Take courage! It is I,” Jesus speaks to you over the howling of wind. “Don’t be afraid.”
You respond with, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He says as He extends His hand out to you.
Abandoning all logic and reason, you keep your eyes on the man who called you and take a step out onto the water.
While we probably will not literally be called to walk on water, there will be times in our lives when Jesus asks us to do things that don’t make sense and require an enormous amount of faith. For some, that may look like abandoning a comfortable life to minister to the parts of the world that don’t know Jesus. For others, it may mean that they give almost everything they have to those in need. Whatever the situation may be, we are always called to have faith in the One who calls us.
You begin to walk on the water closer to the hand that is extended towards you. Though your eyes stay on Jesus, you hear the shouts from the waves all around you. The water crashes and wets your cheek and sometimes the mist makes it difficult to see Jesus. Trusting in His voice, you continue to place one foot in front of the other, having faith that He will not let you fall.
Living out the life that God calls us to live is rarely easy. There will be trials and distractions at every corner that will try to confuse us. No matter how rocky life’s waves may be, know that the One that calls you will give you the strength to walk the path He prepared for you.
All of the sudden, a gust of wind comes from the east and catches your attention. You take your eyes off of Christ for only a moment and begin to fear that another gust will knock you into the sea. That's when you feel your feet sink into the water. You cry out to the Lord, begging Him to save you from disaster.
Often, we don’t have the faith that we should and we will find ourselves sinking into the sea because we can’t save ourselves. In these moments, we need to call out to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Thankfully, God is faithful and will always save us when we ask Him to.
Before you are completely submerged, you feel a mighty hand grab your own. Jesus lifts you from the depths of the sea and leads you back to your boat.
“You of little faith,” He says to you. “Why did you doubt?”
You don’t have an answer to give Him, so you promise to act with more faith and obedience in the future and vow to surrender the rest of yourself to Him.
“Jesus,” you say with wonder, “use me. I’m Yours.”
We are going to mess up in this life, and time after time again we will act out in fear more than faith. But even though we make mistakes, Jesus is always there waiting to save us when we call on Him. And then as saved human beings, we are to surrender our lives to Him so that He can use us for His purposes.
Questions for Reflection
Can you recall a time in your life when you were asked to act with faith? What was that experience like for you?
What kinds of things cause you to stumble in your faith journey? How can you protect yourself from these waves that pull you away from Jesus?
How has Jesus saved you when you’ve called out to Him in the past? How can you remember these moments when you’re asked to act with faith again?