“……He walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:29).
Peter’s experience in this story mirrors what many of us might have passed through at one time or the other, that: just because you sink doesn’t mean you’re sunk. When you quit trying, that’s when you enter into the statistic of the failures. Failure is just another attempt to claim success. Every other attempt draws you closer to your expected end. Winston Churchill and Sir Edmund Hillary stories are sufficient to encourage someone at the brink of giving up. Churchill said: ‘I’ve never failed at anything in my life. I was simply given another opportunity to get it right’. Edmund Hillary in his many attempts to conquer Mt Everest once said to the mountain: ‘you have grown all you are going to, but I’m still growing’ and he eventually conquered the mountain after several attempts without giving up.
In the context of the story in Matthew 14 on the account of Peter walking on the water, the actual failures were the disciples who stayed in the boat. Though Peter faced disappointment, but he experienced firsthand miracle because he made attempt to put his faith into practice while others stayed in their comfort zone. Peter genuinely experienced how it felt to be empowered by God to do what he could never have done by himself.
Once you’ve fought with beasts and false brethren like Paul and walked on water like Peter, your level of faith will increase to face any challenge in life. (II Cor 11:26; Matt 14:29). In this encounter, the great Apostle also boasted of the joy of being helped by Jesus Christ in a moment of danger. Experiencing it first-hand that if he sank, Jesus would be there to save him cannot be traded for mere hearing about it. He shared an awesome moment, a connection and trust that others didn’t. Beloved, failure doesn’t come from sinking, rather it’s from letting your fear stop you from making attempt(s).