I am coming into a very busy season of my life with so much on the horizon that, if I think about the future too much, I start to panic! Several doors in my life have suddenly opened, and I am thrilled to walk through them! At the same time, however, I sometimes wonder if I am really ready to do all that is before me!
One of my children very wisely reminded me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34 when he said, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." If I know I am doing what God is calling me to do, then I shouldn't be worried or anxious. Certainly, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I know that in my mind, but my heart doesn't always believe it! In spite of my fears, however, I've made a decision to walk forward into the challenges that are in front of me without looking down! If I can keep my heart focused on the Lord and rest in Him at all times, I know He will do the work through me, and the fruit will be glorious! But if I lose my focus on God and allow myself to live in fear, then I won't be able to do anything by the spirit, and I will live in a state of stress and anxiety which is never God's will for me.
I am reminded of the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus in the Bible. The disciples had just had a busy day of ministry, and the Lord sent them away from the crowds in a boat so they could cross the lake. He himself stayed behind to pray. Matthew chapter 14 tells the rest of the story, "… the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
The first thing I notice about this story is the fact that Jesus sent them right into a storm that night. He certainly knew what they would face, and He deliberately chose not to go with them! In fact, He waited until the fourth watch of the night to go out and join them which is sometime between 3 AM and dawn! Jesus wasn't concerned about the comfort level of his friends. He knew they needed a challenge more than they needed a feeling of security.
The next thing I notice is that only one of the disciples chose to get out of the boat and take Jesus up on His challenge to come to Him. Only Peter chose to try something that looked impossible. And only Peter got to experience a few seconds of heaven that night as he walked into the realm of faith. It was only when he remembered that he was in the world and became afraid that he began to fall.
Just as Jesus didn't force the disciples to come to Him, I believe God allows us to experience as much of who He is as we want to! We can choose to live in the realm where we seem in control, or we can step into the realm of faith where impossible things become possible. There was no condemnation for the eleven disciples who stayed in the boat, but only one got to become a part of a miracle.
Miracles never happen by human strength or ability. God wants to do extraordinary through each one of us, but the works of God can only be done by faith. So today each of us has a choice. We can continue to live in our comfort zone and just survive, or we can step out into the realm of faith and participate in something supernatural, something beyond human ability, something extraordinary.
So, where do you see yourself in this story? Are you one of the disciples who would rather stay where it seems safer in the boat….or do you hear Jesus calling you to come out on the water? Is there a part of you that knows you will always regret it if you don't try what God is inviting you to do? Let's pray that we will all hear exactly what God is asking of us and that He will give us the courage to step out in faith and go!
Father, I know that you have extraordinary plans for our lives….plans to give us a hope and a future that is beyond what we could ask or imagine! We want to experience the abundant life that you have for each of us in Christ. Give us the courage to step out into that abundant life even when it seems difficult or impossible. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you and you alone we pray in Jesus' name, amen!http://www.mixcloud.com/UCBIreland/jean-watson-walking-on-water-daily-radio-program-on-ucb-ireland/