. . . the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke up to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:24-33
Peter and I have a thing going. I read his story and I feel my eyebrows rise as he calls out to Jesus and steps out of the boat. My heart quickens as his feet first touch the water and the edges of my lips upturn as he takes his first faith-filled steps. When the wind begins to ripple his resolve and fear begins to swallow him, I relate to his situation and I take comfort in the way his story ends: with Jesus stretching out his hand and taking hold of him.
I am Peter. I recognize Jesus in the storm. I ask Him to call me to do things that are kind of crazy and when He does, I get out of the boat. It’s an exhilarating feeling to stand strong when faith is the only foundation supporting you. Yet that wind is a pesky problem, it stirs up trouble and I’m quickly distracted, vulnerable and scared.
Listing our home for sale was our recent step of faith: out of the safety of the boat into the unknown. The wind started out as a whispering and over time has become more fierce. “Why is this taking so long? Maybe I shouldn’t have stepped out of the boat. If this house doesn’t sell, it is going to make someone look silly–me or God, I hope He’s okay with that possibility.” It’s easy to become disoriented when your faith is tested. All you have to do is take your eyes off of Jesus and you are lost. Continue reading “the water”
I previously alluded to being “in hiding” this past year. Hiding is my fancy way of describing fear. It’s important that I start with this because I believe that for faith to grow, fear must be faced.
A year ago I stepped out of a role that I had filled for 10 years when I sold my online website Mom 4 Life. At the time, I looked forward to the change of pace. God had things on the horizon and as I began to see glimpses of His new plan unfolding, I longed to share my new discoveries and struggles through writing. However, the “platform” from which I used to share was no longer mine. I wanted to flush out my thoughts with words, but without readers to share them with, the purpose felt flat. Or was it more than that? I began to question: had my purpose been too tightly tied to “my platform” and “my readers”? Why the desire to share with others rather than just journal for myself? Perhaps it was all a fancy way of saying that I missed being on stage. Was it all pride? Self glorification? I felt conflicted. I wanted to bring God glory but perhaps that was getting muddled? I couldn’t be sure and because of that, I couldn’t move forward with writing for an audience. Doing something good for the wrong reasons felt worse than doing nothing at all. The deceiver manipulated eloquently. Fear crept in. I set down my pen and closed the book.
At the end of May, I began leading a small weekly bible study in my home. The study (Restless by Jennie Allen) focuses on the story of Joseph in the Old Testament and weaves in truths from his story into our own. We have been identifying our natural and spiritual gifts and discovering how our pain and suffering is all closely connected to the unique way that we are made to fit into God’s story. While examining the area of our gifts, we read about Eric Liddell who was born into the home of missionaries to the Chinese people in 1902. As explained by author Jennie Allen, “His story is retold in the epic film Chariots of Fire. Eric felt called to give his life to God and in that pursuit he trained and planned to become a missionary, like his parents. But Eric had a gift. He could run, and every door was opening for him to do it. Doors opened all the way to the Olympics. As the film portrays Eric processing his calling and his gifts with his sister, he said these famous words: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.” Continue reading “listening to lies”