“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” Matthew 24:17
This morning our family was excited to go to church. As we sat in worship after dropping off the kids, the worship leader (a different person from last week) told the congregation that they were about to introduce a new song. He began talking about Matthew 24:22-33, which is below:
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said,“why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The worship leader began speaking and it felt as if it were directly to me. Peter asked Jesus to call him, but then he saw the waves and started to doubt. He began to sink when he let his surroundings overcome him verses keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus.
How I could see so many parallels in my own life! When Shawn first talked about moving to Michigan, my answer was a flat out “No!” Just like the disciples were scared at first (they thought they were seeing a ghost!), I wanted to keep things as they were. No moving, no changing, no growing! But then as we prayed and all my devotions began to be about how God moves us to areas where He wants us and where we can be used, my heart began to change. I sensed that a move was in our future. I believed Michigan was where we were to go. So, when Shawn’s work finally said “You MUST come,” we were like Peter who said “Lord, if you want us to come, call us! Make it clear!” We received so many little (and bigger) confirmations that this is what God had in mind.
But, once we arrived, things have been both up and down. I jokingly put on Facebook some of my minor frustrations – like accidentally burning myself just about everyday from the controls of the shower being backward from home, the plumbing sounding like a prisoner in chains trying to break out of jail cell at 4 am, our kiddo getting sick and even spending HOURS in the urgent care before getting him antibiotics. There have been other more major frustrations, too. I *REALLY* miss our gym. I miss my family and friends, too. I miss not knowing my way around. When asked, “Where would you like your prescription for your son to go?” I told the doctor that I had no idea.
I started looking at the “waves” of our surroundings and my faith in being here started to make me sink. Did we make the right choice? Did we really hear from God? After a late night run last night, I came home and told Shawn that I was in it for the long haul – no matter where God put us, we are a family and we can feel at home. He looked relieved (hopefully I left the ‘crazy’ wife behind at the trail at the lake).
This morning’s church service was a reminder to me of God’s voice saying “You of little faith! Why do you doubt?” I have been sinking even though I knew God told us to “COME!” I have looked at the waves rather than my Savior.
I was prepared to hear a new song, and I asked God to let my spirit recognize it even if I didn’t know it. Well, I knew it well – I had downloaded it on my iPhone before running the marathon. [Please take the time to listen to it below!] I never listened to it during my run, but it was a song that spoke to me from almost the first time I ever heard it. It had such more relevance to me today! The worship leader talked about how God was calling many of us to a new area. Even in physical location! I knew God was talking to me. Tears flowed as we sang the song as a congregation “Spirit, lead me where my faith is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you may call me… Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior!” Yes, Lord, that is my heart’s cry! May You take our family closer to You – may each one of us know You more deeply, have a stronger passion for You and Your Word. May we not lose sight of the important things in light of these passing inconveniences of life.
I should know better than to wear mascara to church these days. 😉 The sermon was also very good and included verses from Proverbs 30 about how we can learn attributes of wisdom from even the smallest of creatures – ants keep going despite obstacles, locusts work together and don’t fight for position, badgers hide in the Rock to stay safe, and lizards let things go (their tail) to survive. What do we need to let go of to survive? For me, I need to let go of the thought that PA is “home.” If I’m going to make this work, I need to leave the past in the past and look to what God has for us in the future.
The other night, we were in bed about to pray and I was feeling FURIOUS with Shawn’s company for some of the more “major” inconveniences they have caused our family. I was expecting that Shawn pray the “heap of burning coals on their heads” prayer to match my sentiment. Instead, he thanked God that our family was here together and that we were all safe. My anger immediately felt selfish and silly. It’s true. We have all that we need. So, I’m choosing to look for the blessings (and laugh at the things that really will be funny in the future). Whatever God has for us, may we walk upon the waters and not sink because of our own silly doubts. May our trust be without borders and may our faith be made stronger!
Friends, this could be an exciting time rather than a time of loss. I’m looking forward to what God has for us. If nothing else, I feel like we’ve come to a great church! Praise the Lord! We haven’t felt this way in a long time!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling to us, even when we’re scared. Thank You that while we feel scared from “ghosts,” You know the truth of the situation and what You have for us. Thank You for calling us to “COME!” out of our comfort zone and for being there to catch us when we start to sink. Please forgive us for doubting. Forgive us when we turn our focus to our circumstances rather than what we know to be truth. Help us go deeper with You, Lord. May we look back on this time as a time of growth and maturity. May our family grow closer to each other and to You. May we KNOW You, Lord, truly know You. May we worship You in Spirit and truth. May we live our lives to glorify and honor You. Help us not major in the minor but live with purpose and conviction. Please forgive our sins and make us righteous through Your blood alone. May we humbly serve You and walk with You all our days. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!