The phrase “walking on water” is often used to reference achieving an impossible task. The notion defies the laws of physics. Water in its liquid state cannot support the weight of a human body. Imagine for a moment what the disciple Peter must have thought when he saw Jesus walking across the Sea of Galilee. (Matt 14:22-33) It must have been a sight impossible to believe! Peter then does something unpredictable. He gets out of the boat and walks on the water toward Jesus. He must have felt invincible! But then, just before reaching Jesus, Peter saw the storm brewing. He saw the water beginning to churn and he sank like a stone.
Did Peter need more practice at manipulating the laws of physics? If we believe that Jesus defied physics, the answer would be yes. But Jesus did not manipulate the laws of physics. He aligned himself with a higher, spiritual law. The story of walking on the water encourages us to align with a higher, spiritual law when faced with the seemingly impossible.
Peter represents the power of Faith as well as the thinking nature. Faith can empower us to step out of the boat. Faith can lift us above the sea of error thinking. And faith can waiver in the midst of turbulent thoughts. The moment we lose sight of the Christ in us and believe that God is not present, we begin to sink into a sea of limitation, separation and powerlessness.
Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore writes, “To walk on the water of troubled thought without sinking requires the established faith of Jesus in the saving power of Spirit. Peter represents faith in its various stages of development.”
Note that Charles does not say faith IN Jesus. He says the “faith OF Jesus.” To develop the power of faith, one must recognize that the Christ that was in Jesus is also in us. The Christ in us never waivers, never falters and is always present pulling us up to a higher, spiritual consciousness. To develop the faith of Jesus we must train our minds to think and live from the Christ in us.
Jesus trained Peter by teaching him the power of affirming Divine Love. He asked Peter to affirm his love for Him three times. (John 21:15-17) Three is symbolic of completion. It represents fullness in body, mind and Spirit. When we affirm our love for the Christ in us we increase our understanding of our spiritual nature. When we affirm our love for self, we harmonize our mind with a higher spiritual law. When we affirm our love for the Christ in others, we train our power of faith to see God in all things. Affirming the Christ in all, we are lifted to an experience of oneness that transcends the sea of troubled thought and limitation.
© 2016. Reverend Eileen Patra