Last week, I wrote about our fun boating trip from the week before. (Sarcasm added)
Since that day Charlie has been scared to go on the boat. Honestly, he has been hesitant to do a lot. Going to school the day after the storm was hard. And it didn’t help that our freak afternoon happened days before he was about to make a huge transition in his life. Pre-school to camp… you know my child who carries the same fears I do. Can the timing of this have been any worse?
We took him on the boat again last Sunday, and it was a wonderful day. On the way home, I said to him, See, you don’t need to be afraid. And that is when he said it, But what if another storm comes?
That question was like a dagger to my heart because that is how I have been living my last week.
Someone asked me if I was scared during the storm. And I said no. And it was true. It was true until the next day. When I woke up, and there was a part of me that didn’t want to leave the house. Anxiety was setting in. The bad dreams that I began to have didn’t help it. And a couple days later I was in tears thinking of all of the “what if’s”. Consequently, none of my anxiety was related to the boat… just everything else.
Did we make the right decision transitioning Charlie out of school and into camp, only to have him transition to a new school in a couple months? How will Olivia do in school? Who will be there to comfort her if someone pushes her? Did we make the right decision putting her in school 5 days a week? (This was just the tip of the iceberg)
My thoughts, anxiety, and concerns were not faith-filled, but instead fear-filled worries.
What if another storm comes?
I wrote last week about when Jesus was asleep in the boat when a storm came. What is interesting about this is that right before they got on the boat, Jesus healed a bunch of people. He healed a man with leprosy who approached Him, with just a touch. He healed an officer’s young servant, when the officer approached Him in faith. Jesus noted this man’s faith, and told him Because you have believed, it has happened. He healed Peter’s sick mother-in-law by touching her hand. And is noted to go on to cast out evil spirit’s from demon possessed people who were brought to Him, and healed all their sick.
You would think the disciples faith would be unshakeable, but it was after this that He got in the boat with His disciples to cross the lake, when the fierce storm comes. He was asleep on a cushion, but waves were breaking in the boat, and the disciples wake Him shouting Lord save us. We are going to drown. Jesus knows the disciples are coming to Him in fear, so He calls out their lack of faith, before rebuking the storm to a calm.
“Even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Matthew 8:27
For the disciples, another storm did come, and it was right after the feeding of the 5000. This time Jesus wasn’t in the boat with them, He had gone off alone to pray, and had sent the disciples across the lake. The storm comes and they aren’t afraid this time, but they are struggling to get through it. They see Jesus approaching them as He walked on water, and initially were startled because they thought He was a ghost, but He told them not to be afraid because it was He.
This time though the disciples didn’t ask Him to calm the storm. They knew He could, they had seen Him do it. No, this time Peter wants to do what Jesus is doing, and says Lord, if it is you, let me come to you on the water. He didn’t ask for the storm to be calmed. No, this time He wanted to do the impossible with the One who could tame the seas with just a whisper.
Jesus said Come, and Peter got down out of the boat walked on the water and came towards Jesus. (spoiler alert: after initially walking on water, Peter does take his eyes off Jesus when he becomes afraid of the wind and the waves, but immediately calls out to Jesus to save him…but that is for another day)
“Take courage. It is I.”
And here is what I have been reflecting on, what He has called me out on… the thing that makes me cry the easiest. My lack of faith. So many times in the past week, or better yet the past year, I have been more like the disciples approaching Jesus is fear. I have wanted a faith that “walked on water”, but lived with the lack of faith that approached Jesus in fear. I have been disappointed, angry, and at times wondered if He was ever going to calm the storm that I could have drowned in. Everything, and I mean everything, I have had fear and anxiety about were decisions that had been made through a lot of prayer, and in faith because of the confidence I have in who He is.
And if I am praying about decisions, why am I so fearful and anxious about the “what if’s”?
How are you living your life?
So, here is my question to you. Are you living like Jesus is asleep in the boat, or walking on water? Are you asking Him where He is, or asking Him to call you out of the safety boat? Are you approaching Him in fear, or in faith?
This is my prayer for us all. That He calls us out on our fear, so that when another storm comes, we can approach Him in a faith that walks on water. May we no longer come to Him in fear, but have the confidence in who He is so that we can tell Him to call us out of the water even in the middle of the storm. And when He does, I pray that we only keep our eyes on Him as we walk to Him on water one step at a time.