Ride that horse!
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Ride that Horse!
There is the story of a man who was on his horse galloping swiftly along the road. An old farmer standing in the fields called out, "Hey, rider where are you going?" The rider turned around and shouted back, "Don’t ask me; ask my horse!"
When we look at the lives of the 12 most committed followers of Jesus, known as his Apostles, we’ve got to imagine that following Him must have been a great deal like riding that horse. They never knew what their Master was going to pull next. But, the more they followed him, the more they learned to trust that he always knew what he was doing.
Such an instance occurred in the 14th chapter of Matthew when the disciples had gone out to sea, while Jesus remained on shore to pray. However, once they got out to the deeper area, the winds began to kick up and push the boat back from its destination. The disciples were rowing as hard as they could with little to no progress.
Suddenly they saw a figure moving across the water toward their vessel. It was frightening because all they could imagine doing such thing would be a ghost. However, that figure was Jesus himself walking on top of the waves. He saw their fear and cried out “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (vs. 27)
Peter, ever the big mouth, challenged Jesus’ words in verse 28, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
In the next verse, Jesus essentially replied, “Come on!”
The text doesn’t say this, but I suspect it was very loud when Peter gave a great “gulp.” He had shot off his mouth and Jesus had called on him to stand by his words.
As you probably know, Peter got out of the boat and began to walk across the water toward Jesus! What a moment! His faith was taking him across the water toward Jesus, but then something very human occurred. Peter began to notice the wind and the waves. He looked around and began to sink into the water that he had been conquering.
As he began to sink, he remembered why he was there and how he had gotten there. He looked back at Jesus and cried out, “Lord! Save me!” Peter was beginning to get off of that horse.
I think it was a merciful and miraculous fact that Peter only “began to sink.” Laws of gravity dictate that he would have shot straight down, rather to sink gradually. But, when we walk on the water of life with Jesus, and begin to look away from him, his mercy keeps us from sinking too fast to cry out.
On the other hand, drifting away from our faith can be similar to the way one boils a frog. You place the frog in a warm, comfortable pan and gradually turn up the heat until it has changed the body temperature of the frog and it begins to boil. We can begin to get used to doing things our own way until we have been absorbed by the sea of the world.
Thankfully, Peter realized he was sinking and called out for the Lord to save him. Jesus immediately reached down, took Peter’s hand and pulled him to safety.
The next words of Jesus in verse 31 were amazing, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Peter could have argued. He could have said, “Hey! I’m the only one who got out of the boat in the first place!” But, he didn’t. Instead, he learned a valuable faith lesson.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Ride that horse and stay in the saddle! He will take you places you never thought possible!
Jesus has amazing plans for you. Keep riding on his promises and you will see, experience and enjoy things you never thought possible.
Pastor John Ortberg wrote a book years ago with an amazing title, IF YOU WANT TO WALK ON WATER, YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT!
Are you ready to get out of the boat? Are you ready to get on that horse? Keep riding! Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will be eternally glad you did!
Riding with Him and you,