Can you imagine what it would be like to walk on water? When I attended a Christian College in Chicago, there was a pond on the seminary side of campus with a sign warning seminary students not to attempt walking on the water. Obviously it was a joke, but could you imagine the sight?
Jesus had just received word about the execution of His relative, John the Baptist. He tried to go away to grieve and spend some time in prayer but the crowds followed Him. So He taught them, healed them, and then fed them. Then He sent them away and went up a mountain to spend some time alone. He sent the disciples on ahead in the boat. A wind came up and began tossing the boat around. The disciples looked up to see Jesus walking toward them on the water. They thought He was a ghost. He told them who He was, at which time Peter wanted to go out to Him. Jesus called him to come out of the boat.
Peter climbed out of the boat, onto the waves, and started walking to the Lord. So why did he start sinking? He was walking on the water as long as he kept his focus on the Lord. But for just a moment he took his eyes off Jesus and began to look around him and the waves, feeling the wind, maybe seeing the clouds and lightning; he got scared. “Lord, save me!” he screamed. “Why did you doubt? Jesus asked him. Peter lost his focus.
When we lose our focus we can begin to doubt and sink beneath the waves threatening to overwhelm us. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” (NIV) If we keep our eyes on Him we will lose our doubts and build our faith.