Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. Immediately Jesus spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:24-29
I, like most of you, have heard this story a bazillion times over the course of my thirty-four years. It’s one most of us can quote word for word easily. We’ve heard it preached thousands of times, and it’s a beautiful reminder of what happens when we have enough faith to step out of the boat. But recently, as I was reading through these passages like so many times before, something seemingly new about this story caught my attention. It was like God placed something new inside the scriptures just for me. Now, I realize the thought I’m about to share isn’t really new, but it’s something I never noticed until the other day. And the minute I saw it, God began to stir within me to share with you this thought of Ask Big.
So take another look at verse twenty-eight with me: “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” And this friends is where my mind was blown. The very thought that Peter, knowing Jesus and the miracles He was capable of, asked Jesus to do something BIG. You see right before this took place in the scripture, Jesus had fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. Peter had just witnessed another incredible miracle, and so when Jesus came walking on water, Peter asked BIG. Hey Jesus! If it’s really you, why don’t you have me come to walk with you? He knew the crazy impossible things Jesus was capable of doing. Stepping out of the boat took faith, yes, but I beg to say that Peter had high hopes when He asked Jesus to have him come. Peter’s first step of faith happened when he asked Jesus to do the impossible.
Often I feel like this is where we get stuck. We pray for faith that will move mountains and confidence to step out of the boat, but we never Ask Big. We want God to show up in awesome and mighty ways; we want Him to do the impossible in our lives, and most of us even believe He can. But yet, we never ask Him for the mighty, miraculous, and impossible. We play the crazy ‘what if’ game. What if I pray for healing and it never comes? What if I ask for a financial miracle and I lose my home? What if I step out of the boat and begin to sink? So rather than asking big, we keep our request to ourselves because we could look like fools if it doesn’t happen the way we hope it will. Or better yet, we worry how God may appear if He doesn’t deliver on our request. So again, we sit silently.
Can I share a quick story with you? Several years ago, I made a BIG request to God concerning my husband’s job situation. Afterward, I believed with everything in me that God was going to deliver on my request. I was visiting with a friend on the phone shortly after and they mentioned my husband’s job and I said to them that he wouldn’t be there much longer. She excitedly said, ‘Oh, so he got another job?” I laughed and said, “No, but he will have one very soon.” She was a bit confused, and so I shared with her about my request, and I was choosing to believe and not doubt that God was going to provide a job with X amount of dollars and by X date. She thought I’d lost my mind and from that point on she didn’t have much to do with me, no joke. But it wasn’t a week or two later God provided everything I had requested, and Dustin had a new job.
Point is, we can believe He’s able all day long, but we must have enough faith to make our request known to Him. Peter made a plea, and Jesus said yes. However, I understand that will not always be the case. The no’s have happened plenty of times in my life. But when we align our desires with His desires, the answer is always yes (Psalm 37:4). If God is saying no to you, it’s not because He doesn’t love you, it’s because He’s God and He sees your life from the end all the way back to the beginning, and just maybe, you’re making the wrong request. Either way, whether the answer is yes, no, or not yet, have faith enough to Ask Big.