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A famous blogger once said, “Don’t ask yourself what you can do to make more people read your blog.  Rather, ask what they need to hear, what can your blog do for them, and the numbers will follow.”  I agree.  I start almost every post that way (sorry, just being honest).  Today is the prime example of that.

It’s Monday.  It’s the beginning of the week.  Sadly, the weekend is gone.  Some of you are recuperating from the weekend.  Others of you are ready to go and make an impact this week.  Some people are just trying to make it to lunch.  A select group of you are getting by but really want to make a difference in this/your world and just don’t know how.  I guarantee you one thing.  We are all facing obstacles.  I’ve gone over what to do with hurts and how much they curtail our daily lives.  I’ve talked about how to come alongside those who are hurting and even how to apologize.  Today I want you to consider doing something else.  Get out of the boat!

What boat?  The phrase “walks on water” refers to Jesus but to a lessor degree a man called Peter as well.  In short, Jesus tells Peter and the rest of his closest disciples to get in the boat and go.  So they do.  They come upon a storm, Jesus walks out to them (on the water…this appropriately freaks out Peter and the others), He reassures them that it’s Him, and Peter says, “If it’s you, tell me to come to you.”  Jesus replies “come”.  So, Peter does and WALKS ON WATER…til he sinks.  Yet, he walks on water.  Of course, Jesus saves him and they both get back in the boat.  Actual scriptural text can be found here.

Whether you believe it or not (I hope I accurately set the scene but didn’t hit you non-bible folks too hard) allow it to be a great illustration for life.  The other illustration I will use is my own life.  Yet, the life that matters most to you (and it should) is yours.

You’re going through life and doing your “best” (whatever THAT means).  You are living a “good life” (again, whatever THAT means).  For those of you who just read that and thought “uh, no, no I’m not” that’s the first step then.  Do it.  Commit to it, at least TRY!  Ok, so we’re there.  Then something happens, you face an obstacle.  Rachel and I were doing our “best” to be parents and BOOM, Trey gets cancer.  Did we cause it?  No.  Did we deserve it?  No one does.  Yet, it’s there.  Jesus told the boys to get in the boat and go, and yet they hit a storm.  Did Jesus cause the storm?  Who cares?  The disciples did what they were told to do and yet they were in the storm.  Rachel and I are in a driving storm.  I bet most of you are as well.

You are faced with an obstacle.  As you read this I’d bet both dollars in my pocket that you’ve already thought of an obstacle in your life.  I don’t have to be a Psychic or Mentalist to guess that.  Now, you have a decision.  Are you going to sit in the boat panicking?  Are you going to sit in the boat and blame God or anything/anyone else?  Are you just going to paddle harder and get nowhere?  Stop paddling and let the obstacle push you back further and further from your goal?  Should Rachel and I have just given up when Trey was diagnosed?  Should we have just laid down and let it be too big for us?  What are your options?

With an obstacle comes opportunity.  If there is no obstacle, there really isn’t a true opportunity.  Oh, there may be options, but not real opportunities for the extraordinary.  Peter, Rachel, and I took and embraced that opportunity.  We basically said, “Ok, Jesus, let’s do this.”  We got out of the boat either literally (Peter) or figuratively (Rachel and I).  We chose faith rather than bitterness.  We opted for the chance of remarkable rather than predictably depressing and debilitating.  Just like Peter, we have been given the opportunity to “walk on water”.  No, it’s not my new pool party trick.  But to be able to do what we’ve done, hang in there like we have, grow stronger as a couple and family, and have others look at us in any positive light is quite as extraordinary.  Not that WE are special…HE is special.  He enables us to do this.

Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began…began to sink.  Jesus reached out and saved him.  Rachel and I have stumbled (and will continue to do so).  He has grabbed us and kept us off of the floor as well.  Notice, it says that “as Peter began to sink, Jesus reached out his hand and saved him.”  Began to sink is the important part.  He doesn’t even let Peter (or us) go too far.  Jesus and Peter both get back in boat…with who?  The others who didn’t have the guts to even get out in the first place.

Babies.  They stayed there.  They probably snickered at Peter.  They shook their head.  I do know of some who have done that with Rachel and me.  They’re not against us, but they are busy watching us and judging.  That’s ok.  Anyone…anyone can stay in the boat.  You can stay in the boat and say I told you so.  You can stay in the boat and talk about how dangerous the waves are.  You can stay in the boat and talk about how Jesus isn’t real and is just a ghost.  You can stay in the boat and talk about Peter and how impulsive he is.  You can stay in the boat and say, “It’s just not what I believe”, “It’s not how I am”, “I’m just more comfortable here”, “It’s not fair”, “The waves are too high”, “The wind is too strong”, “This storm sucks”, “Everyone sucks”, “I’m too good for this.”  Or, you can do something else.

You can GET OUT OF THE BOAT!!!  What does that even mean?  I have no idea but by now, you do.  Do something…anything.  Let it be extraordinary!  Love someone, let God love someone through you, let your pain expose your strength, feel, smell the salty air of a dangerous decision, feel the wet waves of this dangerous world beneath your feet, ignore the naysayers  and haters and follow your heart…even if it leads to something as misunderstood as Jesus.  Just don’t sit in the boat and talk about those who do.  Don’t sit there and criticize everything and everyone else…including yourself.  GET OUT OF THE BOAT!!!

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