Will you risk a belly flop?

I really dislike failing – I’m not sure if I’m a perfectionist or just scared of failure. I find the disciple Peter fascinating as he just didn’t seem to think anything through. In fact when faced with Jesus walking towards him on the water Peter thinks that it would be a great idea to join him.

Matthew 14:25-31 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.  26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  27But 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.  30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Now if you put me in the same position as Peter you’ll find me thinking, ‘That’s cool; I hope he doesn’t expect me to do that’! When I was little I briefly took up gymnastics, but my career was ended when I attended the display evening for the parents – I thought I was pretty good at forward rolls and walking with pointed toes in my striped leotard. But when I caught sight of the big beams and the bars I was inconsolable thinking that I would be expected to perform on these, not realizing that they older girls would be doing so. Peter and I are so different – he was prepared to risk a belly flop whereas I would prefer some inflatable armbands and some practice time at the paddling pool before a public performance.

I’m sure that there were many a time that Jesus couldn’t resist laughing at Peter – one so sure of his faith that he would rush in where angels feared to tread. But he would be laughing at him with joy for Peters’ faith allowed him to dare to take a risk, even if he failed. I need to learn from Peter for Hebrews 11.6 says:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 Faith pleases God, it makes him smile to see us depend on Him and to trust in His power rather than our own. When Peter stepped onto the water he did not believe that he had mastered the art of water walking, but he did believe that God would be able to keep him dry. I need to develop a faith that is dependent on God’s abilities rather than on my own: Faith that is prepared to risk failure or a belly flop.

Check out other devotions on pleasing God at Rachel Olsen’s devotional carnival

6 Replies to “Will you risk a belly flop?”

  1. I guess I’m a bit more daring, as I spent about a dozen years in gymnastics, competing at state and regional levels. The beam was my favorite event!

    But then again, I can totally relate to your post. Especially this line, ‘That’s cool; I hope he doesn’t expect me to do that’!

    How many times have I read a command or someone’s story of faith in the Bible and had that exact same response. How many times have I heard of someone making a drastic change in their life … or maybe going on a mission trip to Africa or somewhere and thought, ” ‘That’s cool; I hope he doesn’t expect me to do that’!

    Too many times.

    Thanks for writing this ~ Rachel

    1. Thanks Rachel,

      its funny how different people are – moving to Africa to be a missionary wasn’t at all hard for me- but ask me to do on the street evangelism & I’ll freak out!

  2. Someone else wrote about obeying and trusting God! It keeps hitting me, so it must be confirmation, lol. I agree. I don’t know any parents who are pleased when their children don’t obey them, so why should God be pleased when we don’t obey. I love your blog! I found you through Rachel’s

    1. Thanks, I’m glad someone else is being challenged to obey as well. I realy enjoyed checking out everyones blog through the carnival – God is really using a lot of great ladies to speak his heart.

  3. That is one of my favorite stories, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if I would be so brave to head out onto the water… I would like to think I would, but I know so many times, I myself struggle to have faith and try to take matters into my own hands!

    1. I think I would have clapped hands for Jesus but how Peter ever thought that joining him on the water would be possible – my mind would have never gone there. I wonder how much we miss out on due to being in control and being sensible!

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