Monday, April 24, 2006

Stepping Out of the Boat

Matthew 14:22-34 (MSG)
Walking on the Water

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.

Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. "A ghost!" they said, crying out in terror.

But Jesus was quick to comfort them. "Courage, it's me. Don't be afraid."

Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water."

He said, "Come ahead."

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!"

Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?"

The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, "This is it! You are God's Son for sure!"

On return, they beached the boat at Gennesaret. When the people got wind that he was back, they sent out word through the neighborhood and rounded up all the sick, who asked for permission to touch the edge of his coat. And whoever touched him was healed.

This was the scripture passage which our Pastor based his sermon on in yesterday's service. I have been thinking ever since about the interesting ways in which God quietly works in our lives sometimes. Earlier on this weekend, I described my life this week as a comedy of errors and technical difficulties. It was a week which had a lot of blessings, but definitely didn't go off without a hitch. By yesterday morning, I was tired and empty and I got up and got ready for church, but I really wanted to just stay home and be by myself and have some solitude. I dragged my feet every step of the way yesterday family went out and got ready to go to church and I was still putting around doing little things, silently hoping they would just leave and let me stay. But no, Mr. Cinder sat in the driveway with the van running and I reluctantly made my way out there and down the road to church we went. One thing I feel I need to say is that my church is an amazing group of Godly people and they are awesome to be around and 'do life together' with. It had nothing to do with going to see them, because I honestly didn't even want to be around my family and anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows what love I have for them--they are true God-given blessings to me!

It was one of those times when you walk into a room and are only there for a matter of minutes before you know for sure that you have came there for a reason. The words of the worship songs began speaking to me deeply and I felt immediately that I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. He was filling me with the hope, with the strength and the endurance that I will need for this upcoming week. I felt a sense of peace come over me and was truly refreshed and refilled, by the music, but especially by the message, which talked about Peter's faith in stepping out of the boat and going towards a more personal sense I took away about the storms which happen when you step out of the boat and how you need to keep your eyes focused on Christ, instead of on the waves around you.

I did a lot of thinking this week about the journey God's brought my family on...he placed a mission on my heart and my husband's heart last year about this time and we didn't see how it could happen. We came up with a multitude of excuses for why this wasn't a mission for us. Then the prodding came from God to pick everything up and move our family and start afresh. It was a scary experience, as you were giving up everything familiar and the purposes you had in life and were being told to begin from scratch and have the faith that there was a clear plan, even though you couldn't see it. Things didn't go off without a lot of previous posts I've shared some of the storms, but we've continued to weather them and keep our eyes on Him through everything. God placed the mission from last spring on my heart again this fall and made it abundantly clear that it was supposed to happen. You see, most of the excuses and reasons why the mission couldn't happen, were taken away and removed, so they were no longer an obstacle in the path. Mr. Cinder and I found out this week that this mission is going to happen. We will be leaving the familiarity of North America for a couple of weeks this summer and will be travelling to Sri's still sinking in and it all began with visions of teaching children abroad and most importantly with a simple question asked, "Is the spirit of God speaking to you?" Little did the person know who asked me this question, that three weeks before I had asked a friend to begin praying alongside me, because I knew this mission was supposed to happen and that if it was truly God's will and not my own, that God would remove obstacles and opposition and that things would come together in a very decisive way...and they truly have! I have to say that right now as I'm typing, I am truly overwhelmed about where God's calling, but so completely at peace in the same sense. We're all the way out of the boat and now the exciting time will begin...the planning and preparation, the reality of truly working with God to do what He desires!

I'm going to end off with the statement which ends emails from our friend, the one who asked that very simple, yet totally thought-provoking question, a few months ago...this will definitely be a journey of a lifetime!

Faith is not blindness;
it is the acknowledgement of it...


Corry said...

I am so grateful that God blessed and all worked out so well . May He bless the mission you are about to undertake and keep y'all safe and may many hear His word.

God's Grace.

audrey` said...

Amen to Corry's prayer!

In God we trust :)

Cinder said...

He has truly blessed in so many ways. Here's to praying that His hand will be firmly upon this summer's mission and that we'll truly be able to be His hands and God we so truly trust and put our faith!