Safety isn’t in the boat

This has been quite a week. I naively thought it was going to be a week of relaxation, but instead it’s turned into a week of contemplation, reflection, direction, and confirmation. God took my week and changed it into a teaching week. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a GREAT week. I just feel some growing pains coming my way.

But out of this week, I  have learned to appreciate life a little more. Two deaths/funerals this week, and I realize how short life is, and that every moment counts. Yes, this sounds cliché. But in the wake of God opening doors for me to walk through, I can’t help but reflect on the short lives of the two people who passed away….Every. Moment. Counts.

How do I make “every moment count”? Don’t live in fear.

Fear stunts us. It stops us dead in our tracks. What’s the old saying?: “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever has.”

Our own self-doubt kills success, dreams…and possibly fully surrendering to God’s plan for our life. We stop running at full steam on His path, because of whatever reason/excuse/fear comes up.

I’m reminded of the story in Matthew 14 about Peter and the boat. Back-up to the beginning of chapter 14, and John the Baptist had just been beheaded– a death that probably sent chills down the back of all the disciples, and a dear friend that was gone. I’m sure they were in shock and were grieving the loss of their friend and fellow Christ-follower. Fear may have entered the disciples mind because of this event. The shocking reality of losing their life BECAUSE of Jesus.

Flash-forward to verse 22, and the disciples slip away from the “supper for five thousand.” No doubt they probably needed some quiet time. First, the blow of John’s death followed by them feeding five thousand people (through a miracle….yes, God showed up BIG to that party…). The disciples and Jesus, rightly so, needed a breathing moment to maybe reflect, or just have some “down time.”

But Jesus managed to use this time in the boat, as yet another teaching opportunity. Jesus comes out the boat across the water.

Peter says – boldly! – “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the waters.”

Jesus, of course, calmly, says “Come on.”

Peter gets out the boat and starts walking to Jesus. The wind and waves are strong and Peter starts seeing the water churning beneath his feet and starts fearing what will happen. The reality of the storm…and the fact that he’s standing on water!….overcomes Peter and he starts to sink.

Funny, Jesus is standing right in front of him….RIGHT in FRONT of him!….and Peter still has fear of totally trusting that Jesus has him. I wonder if, in that moment, Peter regretted his decision to get out of the boat. I wonder if the next day, when he reflected on the events of the day before, if he kicked himself for not trusting. No doubt this was a lesson that helped shape Peter’s character!

But what if Peter hadn’t gotten out of the boat??

The Bible says that the wind and waves were strong. I’m sure the little boat they were in was getting quite tossed around. The truth is, safety isn’t in the boat.

Walking to Jesus….even if it’s across the churning waters with wind and waves surrounding us… safety.

Peter learned about trust that evening. He also had a run-in with his own weaknesses and self-doubt. By exposing those two things, Peter grew a little that night in character and trust in Jesus. Plus, he got the experience of what it felt like to walk on water.

Don’t live in fear. Trust that God has His hand on you. “Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:6)

Following the path,

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