Get Out of the Boat

Bill Dalgetty

Matthew 14: 28-30

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

When we read Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on the water and Peter’s attempt to do the same, we tend to dwell on Peter’s apparent lack of faith, which caused him to sink.

Still, of all the disciples, Peter was the only one who had the courage to accept Jesus’ invitation and leave the safety of the boat. The others no doubt thought it was foolish and reckless.

It is normal to seek safety and comfort, but sometimes the Lord calls us to step out of our safety and comfort, even though it may not make sense to us at the time.

When I was in my forties, I was offered a new assignment by my employer to oversee the delivery of legal services for our operations in Asia, Africa and South America. It was a great job and would have certainly furthered my career, but would have required a move to New York from our headquarters in Virginia. We had three teenage daughters at the time and a two-year-old son. Our daughters were all doing well in school, were involved in a Christian youth program, and had great friends.

I agonized over the decision. While I didn’t think I would be fired for declining the assignment, I knew it would have a negative impact on my career. There was a lot of pressure from my superiors to take the job quickly. The corporate culture fostered success, and moving up the corporate ladder was highly valued. You were expected to accept promotions, not turn them down.

After three days of prayer, consultation with colleagues, and lengthy discussions with my wife, we discerned that I should decline the offer. I had to get out of the boat of corporate security to walk on the waters of corporate counter-culture.

The decision did have a negative impact on my career for a number of years, but when I look back at the lives of our children and the blessings we experienced as a family, I am absolutely confident that it was God’s will for our family and for me professionally.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Is the Lord calling you out of your boat of comfort and security? Jesus says, “Come.”