So you know those nightmares you have before you get married, or have a baby, or start a new job? You know the one where your wedding dress falls off, or your maid of honor falls into the cake? Or the one where you baby comes out an alien, of a ferocious sea creature!? Well I have those leading up to events that I am planning. It’s true.Last Friday I had one of those nightmares about a dinner event in a couple weeks. In my dream only one of my table hosts showed up, and the dinner went so long that we never got to the part of the evening where our guest shared her beautiful testimony. Eek! Well that would be an event fail in my book, and that dream lead to a few days of pretty intense insecurities. The kind of insecurities that make you want to turn and run the other direction (forget that the event is sold out!). The kind of insecurities that make you think “who am I to do something like this?”…and really consider that question! The kind of insecurities where you are in worship on Sunday morning and you hear that terrible liar (otherwise known as Satan) whisper in your ear “you are not worthy to praise”. So I push myself through singing the first few songs of worship anyway. During the offering song the worship leader says a prayer, I can’t remember exactly what she prayed but I remember the words on the screen behind her…
I Am Called
And the band proceeds to lead the church in “Oceans”. I have written about the impact that the song has had on my life before, but today it took on another meaning. I was thinking about when Jesus walked on water…
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
In my ocean of insecurities, I was reminded who He is.
When Peter saw the strength of the storm, he was afraid but called out to Jesus. I like how one of my friends thinks of Jesus in this… she says “Jesus shows His strength here. Like He reaches down and reaches His hand to Peter who was sinking. Like this shows that Jesus is manly, He is strong”. Yes. Peter calls upon His name, when fear surrounded him, and Jesus immediately reaches out His hand.
Another friend sent me the verse Psalm 54:4 earlier this week. “Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.” That’s a nice verse. True enough, I thought. But yesterday morning I woke up and felt the need to read all of Psalm 54 and then into 55:1-5.
God, listen to my prayer
and do not ignore my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,
because of the enemy’s voice,
because of the pressure of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me
and harass me in anger.
My heart shudders within me;
terrors of death sweep over me.
Fear and trembling grip me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
This plea comes from David? David who brought down Goliath? David who was strong and courageous in battle? His feelings were intense. His heart shudders, and fear and trembling grip him? That is panic. Flat out panic! But in his panic, he calls out to his help, the One who sustains him.
“And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now”
In my ocean of insecurities, I was reminded who He is. Instead of asking myself “who am I to be doing this?” I heard God whisper, “But who am I?”
I will probably write more about this at another time, but insecurities are something I have struggled with pretty much always. I know that He can just take them away in a second and it would never be an issue again, but as I have endured through the insecurities over the years, it has kept me dependent on Him and not me. I know how easy it is to forget that it is not about “me”, it is about Him. But I know, but am constantly reminded, that I can do nothing apart from Him, it’s not even a question…it’s a Truth.
I cannot tell you the insecurities are fun to deal with, they are not a joy ride. They have, at times, almost swallowed me. But when I focus on who He is and His call on my life in what he leads me to do, He pulls me up out of the sinking water in His strength. If He has lead you to do something, you are not standing in your underwear in front of your middle school class shaking as you recite your report… you are covered by Him. There is great security in that! If you are feeling like I was, call out to Jesus. If He has lead you to do something, He will give you all you need to complete what He has paved before you. He will prevail for His glory.