It can be frightening when we are asked to do something where there is a chance we might fail. When we play football and shoot to score a goal there are many things which can go wrong – we may miss the target, the Goalkeeper may save the shot, the ball could hit the post, and so on. On the other side of this though, is the fact that if we never take a chance and shoot we will never score a goal. We must therefore shoot and trust that what we have done will succeed. An example from the Bible of someone taking a risk is Peter, when he tried to walk on water:
Matthew 14: 22-32
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“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!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
In this passage we see Peter taking a big risk. It is not a normal occurrence to see someone walking on water but whenever Jesus told Peter to come to him he put his fears to one side and stepped out of the boat. For a little while Peter stays afloat but then begins to get frightened and starts to sink into the sea. At this point Jesus reaches out his hand and saves him from drowning. There are many lessons to be learned from this passage but one that really stands out is that although Peter ultimately failed, he was prepared to take a risk for Jesus, unlike his friends who stayed in the boat. And even though Peter failed, Jesus still came to his help. If we read on in the Bible we can see other examples of Peter taking risks and failing but Jesus was always there to forgive him and to help him. For us today it must be remembered that everything we do in life can be risky, but if we never try anything we will never succeed. Even if we fail, Jesus he will always be there to help us to get back up again.