I’ll be honest; I had a difficult time deciding what to blog about tonight. But as I thought over the last couple of days, storms were a prominent theme. Friday afternoon, I was on a boat in the middle of Lake Sakakawea with Jordan, a couple from our church, and three girls from our youth group. There was no getting out of the downpour; we tried to head for sunshine, but the storm seemed to follow us. We even spotted a little funnel cloud descending from the dark clouds. Then last night, an intense thunderstorm blew across the region, bringing with it 65 to 80 mph winds.
These storms reminded me of a Bible passage that has played a significant role in my life – Matthew 14:22-33:
“Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they had got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’”
At the FLY Convention in 2004, the Lord used this passage to deeply challenge my faith. Although I was a believer in Jesus and was walking with Him, I was challenged to do more than just stay on the boat. The speaker that night at FLY pointed out that the other 11 disciples just watched the exciting, daring act of faith occur. She challenged us to not be like those disciples, but to be like Peter – to step out in faith to whatever it was that the Lord would call us to. And she reassured us that just as Jesus was there to catch Peter, He would always be with us to catch us when doubts and fears assailed us.
That night, I prayed a prayer I will never forget. I gave the Lord my entire self; I promised Him I would do whatever it was that He would call me to and go wherever He called me. I remember specifically praying that I would even “go to Africa if You call me”. Seven years later, it’s exciting and intriguing to see how the Lord was working in my heart even then to what He is bringing us to today.
So, where are you? Are you standing within the security and comfort of the boat? Or are you leaping over the side of the boat, jumping at the chance to exercise your faith in Jesus? Remember, no matter how intimidating the wind and the waves may seem, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)