Monthly Archives: January 2013
My favorite parts are here below, but I do recommend reading it in its entirety.
Peter showed remarkable faith in asking to follow Jesus out on to the water. No one else did.
But when he began walking, what held him up? We might quickly assume it was his faith. But that’s not accurate. Peter’s faith wasn’t keeping him afloat. Jesus was. Peter knew that. That’s why he didn’t just leap out of the boat on his own. He asked Jesus to command him to come. What Jesus did was honor Peter’s faith by commanding the water to bear his weight.
Lesson #1: faith is not faith in our faith in Jesus, it’s faith in the power of Jesus’ word.
But have you ever noticed that Peter the Rock didn’t sink like a rock? The last time you jumped into a pool, how gradually did you sink? There’s something profound going on here.
Peter began to sink when his faith shifted from the firmness of Jesus’ word to the instability of his circumstance. And when he did, it was Jesus letting him sink — slowly. And for Peter that was a grace.
Why? Because Peter’s sinking produced his cry to Jesus. It quickly got Peter to stop looking to the world or himself as the source of truth and salvation and got his focus back on his Savior. When he did that Jesus pulled him back up.
Lesson #2: Jesus’ word is truer and stronger than what we see or feel, and when we doubt that, sometimes he graciously lets us sink to help us refocus.
Trusting in Jesus and his word over our perceptions is difficult to learn. That’s why the Lord takes us through so many different faith-testing, faith-building experiences.
And when he does, it is never for just our own benefit. He’s displaying his power so others’ faith will be strengthened too. And, like the rest of the disciples, once Jesus and Peter were back in the boat, we end up saying to the Lord, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
Just yesterday I met with Val and was describing my strange doubts I experience every few years–I was saying I just want to get to a point where I do not have to rethink and re-remember why I chose Christ.
I’m glad he brings me through deserts of doubt, but it would be better to never go through them, especially as often as ‘every few years’. What kind of Christian will be I be in dark places with this tendency to question?
We talked about how every time it happens, Jesus pulls me through it a different way, but after all these experiences with him, I am always surprised when I doubt, as if it should be something I’ve beat, once for all.
I told her. “I wish I didn’t have to list all the things He has done just to encourage my own heart to believe — I wish I never experienced times of darkness” —–
but WAIT – David ALWAYS listed God’s miraculous works done in the past, to remind his soul of God’s faithfulness to do what he promised..
Maybe God allows these things to happen so that we list back to him all he has done. I used to think that listing out all of God’s works was a way for David to speak to God and remind Him to help him out. Now I wonder if it wasn’t actually mostly a way to keep the faith when all seemed lost.
This post sounds like I’m going through darkness now, and it’s not like that.. All I know is that yesterday, I worried that at some point, in dark places, in the future, my faith would not be strong enough to carry me — and Val and I encouraged each other by coming to the conclusion that my faith is NOT strong enough — but God is. And that is precisely what this article on desiring God is about — which I found today. So cool, so like Him. I am not saying it is ok to doubt him — because the one who doubts is like a wave, tossed by the wind — but I am saying that if and when I do question, God himself keeps my faith secure, and my faith is in His word, not in my faith in Him.
2012 shaped up to be the most important year of my life thus far. In 2012 I began dating Matt Olson, got engaged, had my first kiss and married my love. I traveled to Beirut to finally intensively study Arabic, and I became an aunt for the first time.
2013 looks to be the last year of our lives here in America. God willing, we will move to the Arab Peninsula in September 2013 to study Arabic for 2 years, and hopefully work with a small non-profit serving refugee populations and the poor in the Middle East.
Looking forward, I can imagine that somewhere between now and 2020 I will say “this is another important year” — the year we have our first baby..not sure when yet, but I’m realizing that these late 20’s, early 30’s are key years in determining the rest of our lives. There are some decisions that are important but can be changed (major in college, occupation, etc.) and others that are more permanent (marriage, children, even language learning)…
Because of this, I think I’ll scale back on the resolutions this year, and instead do two things:
1.) Thank the Lord for his miraculous provision in 2012
2.) Draw near to Him as I make new decisions in 2013 that will impact my life, and the lives of family, friends and others around me. Our decisions we make now, 20 and 30 somethings (and older and younger people too, i know!) are important and shouldn’t be taken lightly!!! And I mean things like daily decisions: what to remind myself of in the morning as I lie in bed, and what to think about and do when given a few days sick at home. God, help me make good choices in time management, family planning, money, and ministry this year.