Jesus stands in front of us, not too far away, with His arms opened wide to receive us. And He says, "Come, walk across the water; Come, in faith, into my loving and mighty arms." We look at the water beyond the edge of the boat, we notice its darkness in its depths, we are unsure what is in those waters or just how deep beneath the surface the seabed lies. We look at Jesus in disbelief and ask, "How can it be possible? How can I walk on the water? I'm not You." And Jesus, His eyes so full of compassion and assurance, opens His arms even wider, nods at us and again, He calls out to us, "Come."
What shall we do at this invitation?
We can stay in the boat in fear, watch on as Jesus stands in that distance, His eyes pleading with us to "Come". The wind blows stronger, the current beneath our boat pulls the boat further and further away. Jesus grows smaller and smaller in that increasing distance but His eyes look into ours with an even greater intensity, as if He cannot bear to see us go. In the boat, we will never risk sinking into the deep ocean water. But we will also never find ourselves in the comforting embrace of Jesus. That call, those intense eyes of His, captured in our eyes and minds, will never leave our hearts. And we will know it is always there.
We can hide under the blanket in the cabin of the boat, blast the music to deafen His call and pretend we had never seen Him. Perhaps, we can live for awhile like this but... for how long more? Occasionally, while we are going through our daily chores as if He is not there, we look out at sea, and He's still standing there.
We can take a bold step out of the boat, onto the water and walk towards Him. And when we feel the crashing waves upon our knees, we look down and as soon as we do that, we lose sight of Jesus, we become aware of the water at our feet, the law of nature, the darkness below, and we find ourselves sinking. Fear overwhelms and we no longer remember that Jesus is watching as all these are happening. We forget that all we need to do is to call out for His saving hand like Peter did.
We have another choice available to us. We can fix our eyes on Jesus, let our eyes and His meet in an unwaivering persistence, and without breaking that eye contact, take a bold step out of the boat, onto the water and walk towards Him. Be it the waves crashing at our ankles, knees, waists, chests or even at our faces, the sharks circling around us or the dark clouds gathering above us, threatening a thunder storm, an earthquake initiating a Tsunami, we keep putting one foot in front of the other, never taking our eyes off Jesus in that distance that closes up with each new step. What will be the outcome of this persistence and trust? There is only one - safe at last, eternally, in the loving, comforting and mighty arms of our loving Jesus, joined with His angels and saints in the chorus of His glorious victory.
The journey across the water is our earthly life; Jesus in that distance is our final and only destination. The further we are from our "boat", the closer we walk on towards Jesus, the stronger and larger the waves, the more threatening the dangers lurking around us, the greater the tendency to shift our focus away from Him and onto our surroundings and our human nature. But despite our human limitations; our doubts, fears and weariness, Jesus affirms us that He is here. If we keep looking at Him, we will always know that He is always looking at us because we can see His eyes staring back at us, those same intense, compassionate, tender and gentle eyes. He is always watching out for us, ensuring that even through the ups and downs of life, we are never put in such grave danger beyond what we can handle. He knows when we fear, He knows when we need a hand. Take our eyes away from His for just a second and we will forget instantly that we are safe in His watchful care. Such is the unfailing, faithful and committed love that Jesus is inviting us to trust in completely.
What is Jesus inviting us to do in our lives, with our lives?
Which response are we going to decide on?
Which response are we going to decide on?
08 November 2010, Monday