In the summer of 2019, my family was able to take an amazing trip to Asia, visiting three different cities in China and spending roughly a week in Tokyo, Japan.  We stretched ourselves outside our comfort zones and experienced a part of the world that was very foreign to us.  We made lasting memories, visited incredibly historical places, and met some amazing people.

The smallest journeys in our lives

In thinking about that adventure, it made me reflect on some of the smallest journeys in our lives, sometimes the first step is the most difficult trip we will ever take.  This concept is expressed in the following quote:

“Don’t stay in the boat when God is calling you to walk on water.” 

At different points in our lives, God is going to call us to do something difficult, something outside our norm.  I know in my own life, there have been several occasions where God has laid something on my heart and I have battled with Him on whether I could do it.  In the end, the calling of the Holy Spirit will ultimately win out; or at least He should!  Challenges that we face from a faith perspective I believe are intended to help us grow.  God cares and loves us so much that he does not want us to be stagnant.  We should never feel too comfortable in living out our faith.  God beckons us to great things in ministry and in life callings.  So, how do we take that first step in faith?  I truly wish I had the perfect answer but I do not.  Consider the story of Peter and the disciples in the boat.  The story is related in the book of Matthew, Chapter 14:

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Reflect on courage

While many people may focus on the fact that Peter ultimately fell into the water after the stress and worry of not completely trust Jesus, I reflect on the courage it took to step out in faith.  What must it had felt like to swing his first leg over the side of the boat, then his second and stand on the water?  WOW!  For a moment, a brief glimpse of the Son of God and Peter standing on water.   The courage and faith that Peter exhibited to follow Jesus, even for that brief moment is powerful.  It is an example that we should never forget.  And, it is significant to recognize that Peter was human with human frailty and his true faith and trust did not last as long as it should have.  In the end, we look to Peter as one of the amazing men in Jesus’ circle.  We know that Peter had his issues, but we should be able to learn from him and so many others in the bible.

Don’t be afraid

So, as you approach anything new in your life, do not be afraid to take that first step.  Exhibit the faith you hold dear!  Pray for our Heavenly Father to be with you as you take on a new challenge or adventure.  He will always be there for you!

One of my favorite passage comes from Psalm 121:1-3: 

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help and strength come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber.”

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