Yeah...Oh, me of little faith.
You see, for my first snorkeling experience, we went out on the boat into the ocean to first search for whale sharks. Now keep in mind that I much prefer sitting on land and watching the ocean. Thus the reason I've never been out in it other than on a boat. But despite my lack of experience (and shall I add fear) I decided to be brave and jump in with the others when a school of dolphins appeared. I was fine, for the first few seconds. Then I saw those big blue waves swelling around me. And let me tell you, they were big swells. Suddenly I felt extremely small and vulnerable. And as the boat begun floating further and further away, I started to panic.
The same thing happened to Peter. The disciples were out on the water and thought they saw a ghost. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I would have panicked as well.
Then Jesus said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
When is the last time you've been afraid? The loss of a job, a bad diagnosis, problems with a child...It happens to all of us. Something happens and we panic. We forget to trust in Him.
Peter, though, decided to trust. At least for a moment. He got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But like me, he was distracted by the wind and the waves and started to sink.
|Huge school of sardines.|
Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?"
Why do we doubt? What a piercing question.
With all the negative news storming the media today, along with the difficulties people are facing every day--it's easy to give in to fear and panic. I've noticed it in my own life. In many ways, it's been a challenging year for us. This means that--along with many of the frustrations we face every day--I've found it too easy to get caught in that downward spiral of negativeness and fear. Instead, though, I want my focus to be on Christ and His holiness. Is it easy? Not when that storms raging, but here are a few things that help me.
1. We have to guard our minds and what we put into it. Paul had great advice for this. He says in Philippians 4:8 that "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about these things.
2. Read through the Psalms. David was placed in some difficult situations, and yet his reaction was always to turn to God for strength.
"He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112: 6-7
3. I'm also reading Soul Detox: Clearing Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel. Craig talks out the importance of fighting soul pollution that is threatening our health, faith, and witness to others. He gives practical ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on God's holiness.
What about you? What practical steps are you taking to navigate the storms of life?
|Getting ready to snorkel!|
|Scott Scuba Diving with Jayden|
|Some of the fish|