orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

April 13, 2013

Walking on Water

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — I love the story told in Matthew of the disciples in the boat out on the lake buffeted by the waves, the winds blowing with the boat plowing over the surf like a roller coaster ride. When all of a sudden in the eerie morning light, they see a figure walking toward them on the water!  The text describes the scene most feebly, “it’s a ghost and they cried out in fear.”  Screaming and yelling trying to turn the boat in another direction, jumping overboard would be more like my response because a figure is walking on water.

The wind is blowing so hard this morning that it is howling around the front door of our office and when an extra strong gust pushes the front door, the back door of our building blows open and then shuts with a bang.  That is enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, but being out on a boat with the howling wind and waves with a figure approaching in the dark is miles past my comfort zone.  Upon recognizing that the approaching figure was Jesus, Peter calls out to Jesus saying, “Tell me to come out to you.”  You know the story. Peter climbs out of the boat and begins walking to Jesus.

There is a mission program I have wanted to do for years but fear held me back.  I announced to my staff that we are going to hold a Potato Drop, where 40,000 lbs of potatoes will be dumped in our parking lot for us to give away to those in need.  After the laughter died down, I proceeded with the plan. Like Peter, I wanted to step out in faith but last Friday night I was buffeted by waves of doubt: “What if the truck of potatoes doesn’t show up?  What if we can’t get rid of all these potatoes?  What if no one shows up to help?”  And to top it off, I came down with “Pink Eye” on Friday evening and that added to my anxiety, “What if I cannot see?”   

Five area churches made this happen by sharing the cost of shipping the potatoes.   Thanks to Salem United Methodist Church for providing a wonderful lunch for all of the 150 volunteers.  Thanks to First Presbyterian, Faith United Methodist Church, Wesley United Methodist Church and the faithful folks of First United Methodist Church who walked out on the water with me.