Matthew 14:22-33 (NRSV)

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind,  he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:29 (NRSV)

29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.

DEVOTION – Ciara Lilly (South Carolina)

Most of us are familiar with the scene depicted in the Bible passage above.  We may have read or heard it many times, but usually our focus is on how Peter became afraid and started sinking.  Today, I was introduced to another perspective.  We know that Peter became overwhelmed with fear; we all can identify with that experience.  But how many of us can identify with Peter’s first action: taking a step?

Taking that first step required, faith, and risk.  Sometimes we may feel like we’re in a storm with raging circumstances surrounding us.  We know God is there, but sometimes we’re too afraid to leave the comfort of our boat to follow him.  What if we choose to be like Peter and take a step?  We may be afraid, but we can find comfort when we pray and hear God’s response: “take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

We may step out and meet a flood of obstacles.  But just as Peter was rescued, God will be there with an extended hand to save us as well.  We can trust God, take that step and never look back.  We will soon discover that one step can change the course of our entire life.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Like Peter, I can trust God and step out of my boat.

PRAYER: Mighty God, help us to take that first step toward you.  Let us experience your love and grace as we walk in relationship with you each day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.