A few weeks ago my husband taught our Sunday school class. Sometimes it's hard for me to listen to my husband preach or teach, because, well I live with him. He's an awesome husband, father, man of God, but I live day in and day out with him. Today though God had special plans for this teaching. We were discussing Matthew 14 where Jesus walks on water and calls Peter out of the boat.
Not a new story right? I've always thought the same thing over and over about this story. "Silly Peter, why would you look around and doubt when Jesus, God's very own Son, is standing right there? What do you have to fear?"
This time though something else came to the front. Peter actually stepped OUT of the boat. It was dark and stormy and the wind was "contrary" (NASB) and Peter still got out of the boat. To walk on water. Like it was a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to do.
Lately I've been struggling with the timing of things in my life. The timing of a new baby, new opportunities, old ministries that I continue to love, striving for what I'm called to do, living this life that is in front of me and so very hectic and loud and busy. I need to step out of the boat into this crazy life and just because of current circumstances, I am not excluded from things that bring me deeper into my faith.
None of this is really where the conversation went during Sunday school, it was only later that I connected these things. That God planted this well known Bible story that day to hold up a mirror to where I've been struggling, avoiding commitment and wondering why dreams don't pan out. I would have wanted to have one foot out and one in, just in case.
God calls us to actually sometimes step out of the boat in faith when we
aren't sure, when the wind or world is contrary to what we believe. He
asks us to go against what we think we know to be true and walk out.
Even if we start to sink like Peter did, Jesus caught him by the hand
and walked him back to the boat. He was always safe, right there hand in
hand with Jesus.
So I've tried to push myself to do "boat things". That's what I've been calling them in my head, the things I feel God has been asking me to do in my heart that just don't come naturally. I've been asking for prayer when I need it, I've been honest with my feelings and some of my opinions that I would normally shy away from, I've committed to putting fingers to the keyboard and write more often, I've asked to belong to a group that I would normally be intimidated in. All things that easily could be ignored, but that I would feel cheated about later.
God has been merciful, He's blessed me in each of these attempts to do the things that are hard for me. But even if my eyes wander and I start to sink, I know He'll be there to walk me back to the boat.