22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 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?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
–Matthew 14: 22-33
I have so much trouble with investing in myself, in particular, in the business that I am trying to build up. It seems every time that I actually take the initiative and have the faith to go ahead and make an investment towards getting my business firmly off the ground, I turn around and face the almost immediate needs of my daughter. Now of course children need things all the time and I always make sure she’s taken care of first. However, it seems like just when I’m at a point where she appears to have everything she needs for the time being and I feel I can actually put money into myself (my writing career) then a sudden need arises and I start to feel guilty that I’ve just put this money into me and not into her where it clearly needed to go.
Now Ms. L. lectured me about feeling guilty last night and reminded me that taking care of me first sometimes is the best way to take care of her all the time but it doesn’t always feel that way. When I was in the gym this morning the guys were having a specific conversation that seemed to be perfect for the guilt (or possible lack of faith) that I was feeling. Oddly enough, I almost did not go to the gym this morning because it was raining and I had planned on using the rain as my excuse to stay home. But God had other plans and made sure that I went anyway.
They were talking about the story from the bible of when Jesus walked on water and he walked out to the boat with his disciples in it and Peter told Jesus that if it was in fact him to call him over to him, and he went and Peter was walking to Jesus on water. He was doing fine until he felt a gust of wind and a burst of fear and lost sight of Jesus and his faith in him and he began to sink into the water, drowing. He cried out for Jesus to save him and Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” If Peter had felt the wind and still had faith and kept his eyes on Jesus he would have been fine. If he had just kept his faith and had not doubted, not even for a second, he would not have felt the fear of drowning.
I feel that story not only applies to what I am dealing with, but also anyone out there who is struggling with their faith in what it is they are trying to do, what they may be called to do. If I were to stop taking my focus off of God and his plans for me, if I were to stop letting every little gusts of wind throw me off and make me afraid, I could only imagine how far I might be in my journey by now. I could imagine the voice of God in my head as he talks to me saying something to the effect of ‘If you would just have faith in what I have planned for you and follow through without getting afraid then you could be halfway there by now’. If he did say that, he would one hundred percent right.
I don’t always have a good track record of trusting in the unknown and the things that have no guarantees. It’s not that I don’t have faith in God and his plan for me, it’s that my nature to worry about all of the what ifs has a tendency to take me off the faith driven path (just a bit). It’s something that I struggle with and am constantly working on, not taking my eyes off of God and his plans for me, learning not to worry about all of the what ifs that pop into my head and knowing that God has never let me down yet and wouldn’t start now. I struggle with not having the comfort of knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side. The truth is that I have to realize that it’s not always for me to know, but for me to trust in the guidance of God and know that he would never steer me wrong.
Oftentimes we tend to get caught up in the worrying of it all that we forget to just let go and have some faith. Whatever is going to happen, whatever God is going to do, will be one anyway, whether it’s what we expected or not. We can’t be so riddled with doubt in ourselves and in his plans that we never even step out of the boat. We’ve got to have faith and know that God would not lead us on the water only to let us drown.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”