And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
When several of the disciples first encountered Jesus, He bid them to “come and see.” Jesus’ invitation has always been, “Come,” and He invites us often to experience things for ourselves. Jesus went about preaching and then equipped the disciples and sent them out to preach and to heal and to cast out demons. When He fed the multitudes, He gave the bread to His disciples to hand out to the people. He wanted them to see and hear and taste and touch and feel things for themselves. And even in this unusual experience of walking on the water, Jesus bids Peter to come and see. And He invites us to come to Him in order to grow our faith, to learn of Him, to discover something new about ourselves, and even to experience something miraculous.
And so Peter got to experience this act of walking on water for himself. He got out to feel for himself, to know the sensation of water solid beneath his feet, to know what it was to do something he’d never seen done before. And surely such a thing would have left a mark on his life. Because watching someone else do something and doing it ourselves is something totally different. Experiences are imprinted upon our lives and change us, mold us, teach us, and give us new understanding.
Let’s not be content to sit back and watch other people take their steps of faith and experience the amazing things God has for them. But let us take our own steps out onto the water. Let us feel for ourselves what it is to go forward toward Jesus at His invitation to come forth and see something new. Let us participate in the work of Christ and be His hands and feet. It may take us somewhere we never thought we could go. It may take us out of our comfort zone. But Jesus is always right there with us, encouraging us to take one more step.
Our journey with God is a series of steps of faith. Surely Peter remembered that one moment where his feet didn’t sink every time the cold sea washed over his feet. And those kinds of faith-building experiences we have in our lives are like mile markers on our walk with the Lord. And each time we experience something amazing at the feet of Jesus, we can grow. And as we grow, we are better equipped to serve God in new ways. And as we continue on, those experiences draw us ever closer to our Lord.