I checked out the talk on CD "Walking on Water: When the Lord Asks the Impossible" by S. Michael Wilcox recently. This is not the first time I’ve listened to it, but I was so grateful to hear it again at this time in my life. I have listened to it 5 times in the last couple of weeks. There are so many gems in here that seemed just for me, but I know that we all could use them. I don’t want to spoil everything so I will leave a lot out, but want to share some of Brother Wilcox’s words with you (even though I’m sharing it out of order).
Peter walking on water in Matthew 14 .
Brother Wilcox tells this story and then shows how each of us is given our own walk on water moments with our own unique challenges.
Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and Brother Wilcox says he was probably thinking,
“If my master does this, I want to do it too. If my master can do this and he invites me to do it, if he bids or asks me to do it, I can do it. I can walk on water…I can do even the impossible.”
When the Savior bids Peter to come unto him, Peter immediately leaves the boat and enters the water, apparently without hesitation. But then while he is walking, the winds become stronger and he starts to fear and begins to sink. He cries to the Lord to save him.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
I don’t picture the Savior saying this with anger or disappointment, but as encouragement, telling him that he didn’t need to fear because the Lord was there and he has the power to keep him up even when Peter didn’t. In that moment of fear, Peter had cried out. It is the same in my life. I feel like a few months ago, I was walking on water, although not by own power, but doubt started to creep in my mind. I had thought that I will somehow get through these hard classes and get a good job. I will some day have a job good enough to get a good house. I will somehow meet someone worthy to take me to the temple and be my eternal companion. Then I started looking around me and seeing how impossible those things seemed. I started sinking. I cried out, “Father, I cannot do this. Please don’t ask me to walk on water.”
We all have our own trials, and they change from time to time in our lives. Mine isn’t nearly as bad as many others. The beautiful thing for me and for you is that when the Lord bids us to walk on water, we don’t have to do it alone or with our own power. And if he is asking us to do it, he will help us.
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We do not have to rely on our own strength, our own stamina, our own ability. The Lord will take what we have and add his power if we believe.
“God will increase what we have, making it sufficient for whatever need we have. We see it again and again and again in the scriptures.”
Brother Wilcox gives the examples of the fishes and loaves, how Christ took the amount of food they had, and gave them what they needed and more. Then in the story of the widow in 2 Kings who needed money to pay her creditors. The woman was given oil to fill all her vessels and those she had borrowed, so more than she needed. Our Heavenly Father will do the same for us. We may not be removed from our situation, but we can be given the strength we need and more.
“Time and time again we read in the scriptures of people who have needs that are not sufficient. Christ asks them to bring what they have. He’ll bless it. Multiply it and make it sufficient for the need and always beyond. God will strengthen us. He’ll give us eagle’s wings so we can fly, not only run, not only walk, but fly, mount up.”
One last topic that Brother Wilcox talked about that I’ll mention is fleeces. Recall how in Judges 6, an angel appears to Gideon to tell him he is to deliver Israel. Gideon asks the Lord to show him a sign so he is sure he is supposed to deliver Israel.
36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Brother Wilcox says that often Heavenly Father will give us a fleece, a way to see what Heavenly Father really wants us to do—a scripture we read that speaks to us, a General Conference talk that answers a question or maybe words of a local church leader.
“Our human need to find reassurance or validation or courage to face our walking on water challenges is not an invitation to engage in subtle sign seeking, rater a desire to interpret God’s will correctly, to advance in a manner he wishes, to increase confidence not so much in Him nor in his commands but in ourselves… Neither must we be afraid that our request for a fleece will be seen as a lack of faith or a sign of weakness or that the Lord will perceive it as sign-seeking.
"If I say, ‘Father, it is not a matter of seeing with the eyes before I move forward, nor one of comprehending with the mind though understanding would be helpful, but one of feeling with the heart. I’m not trying to do an end run around faith but there is comfort from feeling the water on my hand when I wring the fleece’.”
I am so grateful for words that uplift and encourage me. I’m grateful to know of the infinite love and patience of my Father and of the enabling power of the atonement. If you come across this CD, I hope you take the time to listen to it so it can uplift you also.