About Water Walkers

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a spirit," and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." And Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." And he said, "Come." And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. - Matthew 14:22-29 (KJV)

As the son of a Methodist minister, I was regularly exposed to this story of Peter walking on water. I heard it in multiple Sunday school classes, Sunday morning services, Sunday evening services, revivals, mission-week services, youth fellowship events, Bible studies, weddings, funerals, church camp meetings, and an assortment of other experiences.

As I finalized this book, I was struggling with a title for the collection of stories that follows. I have a habit of putting sticky notes on the wall in front of my desk. The wall is a mess. The most recent notes are title ideas for this particular volume. As I stuck each one to the wall, I thought that, "That's a keeper. Yeah, I like that one." Then, as I pushed closer to finalizing the book, I pulled slips of paper off the wall and placed them in a folder labeled "Not this one." Nothing seemed to capture, in a phrase, what I wanted to say about the people featured in this volume and what connected them with one another.

Then as I was working on the stories my brother, Carter, gave me a book by Mark Batterson titled The Grave Robber. I was particularly struck by Batterson's remarks about Matthew 14:22-29, when Peter walked on water. Yes, Peter took only a few steps before he began to sink. But Peter did get out of the boat. He was willing to act on faith. And, for his faith, Peter walked on water.

Water Walkers is about Christian men and women who, in faith, left the safety of the boat, stepped out onto the water, and walked on it. For the people in these stories, "stepping out of the boat" meant leaving the life they thought they were destined to live and careers they assumed were lifelong. Because God had other plans.

Read samples of the stories about three of these water walkers. (click here)

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