Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.
-Ruth Gordon, Actress and Writer
“If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” is a book by John Ortberg referring to the Biblical story of Peter. In Matthew 14:22-31, when Jesus summoned Peter to get out of his boat and walk on the water, Peter did – that is until he looked around and got scared. Even though Peter was already walking on water, once he acknowledged his circumstances, he was filled with a paralyzing fear. As a result, I would add to Ortberg’s title “… And Put Blinders On”.
We all face what seem to be impossible circumstances at some time in our lives. We must look to our faith and not the facts or feelings to get us through. Peter walked on water while he was focused on faith and not the facts. As soon as Peter began to examine his circumstances, feelings of uncertainty and fear kicked in and he began to sink.
As you tread through whatever difficult circumstances you are dealing with, surround yourself with people who will encourage you to have faith rather that those who insist on pointing to your circumstances. Avoid those who want you to examine the facts. Faith and facts are incompatible in our struggles.
When we first received the diagnosis of ALS, my imagination immediately created a future scenario filled with heartache. I saw myself alone, financially broke and emotionally defeated. As I sat in the boat of diagnosis, I saw nothing but the storm around me and it paralyzed me. Fortunately, I chose to quickly push those thoughts of despair out of my mind and resume a walk of faith. How many people don’t make that choice and instead, sit paralyzed in the boat, afraid to move because of their circumstances? At times, they may be able to focus on the positive and make some advancements but someone is quick to ask, “What are you doing? Don’t you know there is a storm all around you?” and they quickly jump back in their boat of fear.
If you are the one facing a storm in your life, get out of the boat of fear. Walk by faith! If you are the observer, stop pointing out the storm! Grab hands with the person in the boat and lift him out by your encouraging words and thoughts of hope. The experience of walking on water, for however brief a moment, is amazing.