The Second Step is the Hardest

What if the first step isn't the most difficult?  What if its continuing into the second step?

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" 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus."
-Matthew 14:29

The excitement of that first jump into something new is usually a beautiful mix of excitement and anxiety.  What will happen?  Will it be everything I think it could be?  Could it go wrong?  How will I know unless I dive in?  Will I regret failing or not trying more?

In fact, we give so much credibility to that first step that we tend to view it as a final destination - once we take that first step, it'll just flow.  There isn't usually a solid Plan B - the goal is to overcome the fear to take that first step, and then we'll figure the rest out once we begin moving.

But what if the second step is the hardest?  The third?  Every subsequent move.  Do we give too much weight to that first step?  If the first step is symbolic of choosing to walk, the second step represents commitment.  And that's where we can really waver.

We see this with Peter in Matthew 14. After a long day of feeding the 5,000 and teaching, Jesus sent the disciples ahead on the boat to head to their next location so He could have alone time with the Father.  Perhaps the disciples thought Jesus would take another boat and meet them at the next stop, but Jesus decided to walk on water towards the boat to finish the journey with His men.

When the disciples saw this, they thought Jesus was a ghost, but once He lovingly said, 'Take courage!  It is I!  Don't be afraid!,' Peter asked to come out to Him in faith.

In that moment, Peter chose to take the first step towards Jesus in a situation he'd never before been in.

Prior to this, we see that there were strong winds.  When Peter realized another gust was coming, he became terrified.  He was able to decide to step out from the comfort of the boat when he could analyze what stood before him, but when he was in it and things came up without time to process, he grew weary in confidence.

We know Jesus lovingly responded and brought him into the boat, calming the storm.  But too often we focus on that first step.  Choosing to go into ministry, to go back to school, to get married.  But when you've been married for 5 years and things aren't going as you dreamed, will you be committed to those next steps?  When the job throws a curveball, will you persevere?

What next steps have been hard for you lately?  How can you push through, eyes on Jesus, focused on Him that He can settle the storm?

Michael Tatonetti