Crossroads: When You Get Excited…And Then You Freeze – Peter


Matthew 14:22-33

Stats about Peter

• Called Simon, Cephas, and Peter; Peter and Cephas both mean “Rock”
• Lived in Capernaum where he and his brother Andrew were fishing partners with Zebedee and his sons, James and John (2 other disciples)
• Often understood Jesus’ teachings more quickly than most of the other disciples
• Was martyred by being crucified upside-down

My Story

Have you ever gotten really excited about something brand new only to find yourself freezing up and getting scared? Perhaps it was going to a new school, starting a new job, buying a new car, or even the time between getting engaged and getting married.

This happens to me all the time. A planner by nature, I sometimes have a hard time dealing with change. I was really excited about graduating from college and going to seminary. It was a brand new chapter with a new city, a new place to live, a new subject to study, and new friends. It was an exciting time. But then I started to worry—what if I hated it? What if I got God’s call completely wrong and He was looking for me to do something entirely different? What if I didn’t make friends? The worry comes and the excitement falters. There are times when you lose the excitement altogether, and it is replaced by a feeling of being weighted down. Where do you turn? How do you reclaim that excitement and shake off the worry? (We’ll find out in the Bible story.)

Your Story

Tell your family about a time when you were really excited about something and then you got scared, you froze. Talk about what you did—did you still do what you were excited about? How did it turn out? Did you decide not to do it? How did you feel after that decision?

The Bible Story

Peter was a gung-ho disciple. He was all in, except for when he wasn’t. Peter had a habit of getting really excited about something and going all in and then suddenly getting scared and backing off. We see this in several different stories (including when he denies Jesus). One story in which we see this clearly is Peter’s attempt to walk on water.

Read Matthew 14:22-33
The Message: “As soon as the meal was finished, he [Jesus] insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. ‘A ghost!’ they said, crying out in terror. But Jesus was quick to comfort them. ‘Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.’ Peter, suddenly bold, said, ‘Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come ahead.’ Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, ‘Master, save me!’ Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, ‘Faint-heart, what got into you?’ The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, ‘This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!’”

Peter loved Jesus. And he was so excited to be a disciple. In his boldness, he began walking on the water toward Jesus. He was excited to see Jesus walking on the water, and he wanted to do it too. But then he realized what he was actually doing and he froze. He started to sink. We do that often, too. We get excited about what is happening but then we start thinking about everything and we freeze. We may even start to sink (but usually not literally). But then Peter does the best thing he possibly can. He calls out to Jesus, his Master, his Savior. And Jesus catches him. Jesus reaches out his hand and lifts Peter back up. When we get scared, when we worry, and when we freeze, we, like Peter, can call out to Jesus. And Jesus will give us courage for that first day at a new school, the beginning of that job, moving into a new house, making new friends, etc. All we have to do is call out to Jesus.


Ask your children if they have ever been excited about something and then gotten scared. What did they want to do? What did they do? Remind them about how starting a new school year may have been scary for them and ask them how it is now. For most of them, it will be much better now.

Prayer and Action

– Pray that God will give you and your family courage when you are scared. Ask God to remind you that Jesus is always there.
– Talk about ways to combat anxiety. Talk about ways that you can help each other face that fear and worry.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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