We recently did a Sunday series on the theme of “Walking on Water”, looking at the passage in Matthew 14:22-33. There was a challenge to let go of the familiar and step out of the boat, looking towards Jesus, accepting His invitation to come.
Here is a testimony from Gillian Liversedge and a poem written by Sarah Ashdown.
“Who knew that such a well-known Bible story, taking only a few verses of Matthew chapter 14, would contain so much truth to discover.
I remember clearly hearing Darren, as he started the series, getting me to think about where I would have been, in the boat, on that wet and windy night. Knowing myself, I’m pretty sure I’d have been somewhere safe and relatively comfortable, tucked up with a blanket and a hot drink. Yet, as I listened to the preaches during the series, I found myself repeatedly praying that I would, with God’s help,
become more and more a person who would, instead, be asking Jesus to call me out of the boat, day by day, to deepen my relationship with Him. To ‘be more Peter!’ I’m so aware that, for Peter, he was in
many ways doing something normal, an everyday action (rowing the boat to get from A to B.) It was in the day to day that he had this opportunity. Over the course of the series, and since, I’ve found myself looking for opportunities to encounter Jesus more deeply, in my day to day. Scary, yes, but much, much more. It’s wonderfully exciting!”
by Sarah Ashdown
He tells me that faith, though flimsy to hold, is all I will need to step out of the boat.
I taste a turn in the weather,
So I scrape mine together with a tentative grip
As it threatens to slip through my fingers.
It’s enough, He says, as I top up my jar assessing my faith through the glass.
It appears unremarkable, a seed barely visible,
a prayer on a thread hanging cynical and I can’t quite believe that I’m not going to sink as I smell the doubt blow back in on the wind.
I think of Peter whom gravity mocked, though faith would uphold even those known as the Rock, who could be forgiven for their hesitation having lived all their lives with a name that threatened to sink them.
As doubts barge in like adolescent tempers, I search for my reflection amidst the turbulence for any resemblance to the heroes of old who stared hard in the face of no reward,
who left what they knew for what was unknown.
And I think of the man that Jesus sent home
with nothing but words to escort him,
“don’t be afraid, just believe” and how he pocketed these
as something inside came alive and he walked his longest mile where faith and doubt would meet and clash and one would win and one would bow.
I think how faith suffers as it reads of no hope
Yet tenaciously grabs for the edge of His cloak and
Keeps turning the page for the story to change for a shield it must raise, and a will it must bow for His perfect course must be allowed
to transform from the inside out.
How precious to Him, our surrendering
Of all that burns at His refining,
The unbelief we’re sacrificing.
As earth surrounds a seed
His Hands close in to accept what I release, and He holds it Holy like an offering in the hands of a Priest.