I love the song, You Make Me Brave, By Bethel Music. The lyrics just hit home everytime I hear them.... "You make me brave, You called me out beyond the shore into the waves. No fear can hinder now the promises you made." Amen? Amen. How many times have you found yourself in the waves of life, far from the shore, unsure of how you are going to make it? I remember back to when my Hannah was about 3 years old. She had an extreme fear of the water and when I say extreme, I mean, Polka dot tights with a tube top extreme. We would wade into the water together and despite the life vest and floaty wings (yes both) and my reassurance to her that I had her.. she would slowly begin her journey up my body, that would eventually leave her very strong, yet tiny legs wrapped securely around my neck. Bless her sweet heart, she was terrified. Have you every felt that way? Feeling like your being taken into the waters of life? Despite our spiritual life vest we are terrified of being over taken. We will take every step necessary to keep our heads above board. Anybody? There have been many times over my life where I have felt this way. Here is what I have learned, trying to hold onto security opens the door for the enemy to sew fear and despair into our heart. Fear and despair draws our eyes downward, deflating our spritiual life vest. Sweet reader, Jesus is your life vest. Psalms 116:2 says "Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!" Amen. The God of this universe, the holiest of holies bends down to listen when you pray. He hears you, He sees you, He knows your unspoken fears.
I can't help, but take us to the well-known story where Jesus walks on water. Matthew 14:23-32
"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake, when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, the 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, begainning to sink and cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. " You of little faith," he said "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
But Jesus immediately said to them " Take courage! It is I.
There are a few things that struck me about this portion of scripture. The boat was not only a considerable distance from land but it was in rough waters. What a cool scene that must have been, storms brewing on the lake and here comes Jesus! Notice, that the disciples were fearful, but with compassion Jesus responds to them~ "Take Courage!" Your storm my look very different, but just as Jesus showed in this passage, He isn't phased by the waves. He is walking towards you and He is telling you sweet reader to take Courage! If it wasn't enough for Jesus to speak out, Peter wanted further proof, "tell me to come to you on the water." As he moved onto the water towards Jesus, he took his eyes off of Him and began to be overcome by the storm. The lesson here, don't take your eyes off of Him. If you are in the middle of a storm, you fix your eye tightly on His. Even in a state of faithlessness, Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter....so faithful. You may feel like you are treading water right now. God's arms are stretched out towards you. Keep your eyes fixed on his gaze and trust that He has a plan in the pain.