I don’t walk on water, float on water, or swim in water. I grew up in a family of swimless people. But being able to float without any chance of going under would be enticing. I’ve never visited the Dead Sea, but if I did I could walk out until I was waist deep in water, lean back, and watch my feet and body pop up like a jack-in-the-box. This lowest place on earth is dominated by salinity that makes floating a breeze.
Peter wanted to walk not float. He and the disciples were fighting a storm on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus came walking toward them on the water. Impetuous and prideful Peter asks if he could come to Jesus on the water. Jesus granted him permission. Strutting like the sole cock in the chicken yard, Peter did well until he felt the violent wind blowing through his hair and noticed the struggling waves at his feet. As he spiraled downward, Jesus rescued him.
Peter was a seasoned fisherman and knew how to swim, but in this case ability failed him. Pride outweighed his skill and sent him reeling toward the sea’s bottom. Pride does this. When I think I’m walking tall, pride will take me down. So popular has Peter’s story become through time that “walking on water” is now used as a synonym phrase for pride.
God is the one who holds me up day by day. He may give me strength, wisdom, and other natural abilities, but his hand is responsible for my floating and not sinking. He should receive the credit and glory for any and everything I accomplish. While he won’t prevent the storms in my life—self-inflicted or not, he will keep me from succumbing to the warrior waves they bring. And when I cry out to him as Peter did, he will even grow my faith through them.
Are you guilty of thinking you can walk on water? If so, rebuke pride and invite humility into your life.
Prayer: God of glory and grace, remove any pride from our lives so that we might serve You in humility and power.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Alvimann.)