Have you ever felt like you aren't equipped to do something? A new leadership position that turned out to be way more responsibility than you thought it would be. A new job. Understanding the world of your teenager. Dealing with your parents’ expectations. Fixing your marriage.
Even worse, have you ever just known you aren't capable of something? Your bank account literally can't handle your rent. Meeting that deadline is not humanly possible. You physically cannot run that race with a broken foot. Sometimes reality says no and you can’t argue.
The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I find myself in logic-defying situations. Some might say these situations are "tests." Others explain them as Satan coming after those who try to follow Jesus. But I believe that the better we get to know Jesus, the more we recognize the possibility of faith making a fool of what makes sense. Our eyes are opened to opportunities for Jesus to show Himself in ways people can't deny.
If we look in the Bible, things that don't make sense surround Jesus and the people who follow Him. Paralyzed people get healed. Dead people come back to life. Daniel gets thrown into a furnace and comes out without a single burn. And one of my personal favorites, Peter walks on water.
Let's take a closer look at that last one. If you've grown up in church, you have probably heard the story of Peter walking on water. If you haven't, you can read the full story in Matthew 14:22-34. Recap: the disciples were in a boat in the middle of a lake when a horrible storm hit. Jesus came to them in the middle of the storm, walking on top of the water. Peter asked (or challenged) Jesus to let him walk on water, too. Jesus agreed and Peter stepped out of the boat. While he kept his eyes on Jesus he walked on top of the waves. When he looked away from Jesus and saw what he was walking through, he panicked and began to sink.
Do you think that before Jesus arrived, Peter thought to himself, “I bet Jesus is going to show Himself in this storm by walking through it to us on the water?” No. The Bible tells us the disciples did not even recognize Jesus when He showed up. In fact, they were terrified of Him. But that is the nature of human understanding versus Jesus’ miraculous capabilities. His works greatly surpass our ability to understand them. When we look at our circumstances and find security in the hopelessness, we sink. But when we lock eyes with the God who has a history of defying all odds, we step into the impossible.
What if the disciples had remained terrified of Jesus and refused to let Him in the boat? Who knows, but Peter dared to have a faith that moved him to face death, and because of his faith the character and reality of Jesus was seen by everyone present. Just like Peter’s choice, faith requires that we let go of what we think God should do and open our hearts to whatever He wants to do, trusting He will come through in one way or another.
Takeaways From Peter’s Experience That Change The Way We View Obstacles
• The storm was the backdrop for the miracle
• Peter’s helplessness and inability to understand were the miracle’s ingredients
• Focusing on scary circumstances causes fear, but looking at Jesus in the midst of those circumstances gives us the supernatural ability to persevere
Jesus is always taking people to heights that are unreachable without Him and helping scale walls no one would dare try to tackle alone. He doesn't need us to think up or facilitate His miracles. Nothing we ever imagine or try to do will compare to what He can do.
That scary situation? Conquerable. That ruined relationship? Fixable. That impossible child? Lovable. That awful work situation? Manageable.
All because we serve a God who walks on water and invites us to do the same.
What To Expect Before A Miracle
• Inability to handle something
• Circumstances that justify fear and confusion
Pitfalls To Watch Out For
• Focusing on accomplishing a miracle instead of trusting Jesus to move in His own way
• Trying to understand the miracle
• Staring at the circumstances that puts the miracle in miraculous instead of the One who performs the miracle causes us to sink, because we get scared when something is bigger than we can handle. Something overpowering looks dangerous. We have to stop expecting to understand God's power.
Things To Remember When Walking In A Miracle
• Feelings should drive us to look at Jesus first before we seek out answers or solutions.
• Miracles are not supposed to make sense. They are by nature unexplainable.
What opportunities for miracles are you facing right now? Think about the areas of your life you associate with discouragement and feelings of being overwhelmed or afraid. When we dare to step into those places armed with faith, we find Jesus waiting with an invitation to walk through even the worst storms.