February 8, 2010
Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Jenny B. Jones, She Reads Featured Author
"'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat,
walked on the water, and came toward Jesus."
Matthew 14:29 (NIV)
Who doesn't like to be safe?
While writing Just Between You and Me, I immersed myself in my Bible—studying fear, the novel's central theme. This was ironic coming from the poster child for fears. I fear rejection, success, heights, strangers, green peas, and skinny jeans.
I kept going back to Matthew 14. The disciples are in the boat, the winds are going crazy, and walking across the water is this dark figure. Peter says, "If that's you, Jesus, call out for me to join you." (I would've said, "If that's you, can you toss me a life jacket?")
Jesus does indeed call out to His friend, and things are going well until. . .Peter takes his eyes off his Savior and focuses on the wind. The wind that's tossed the boat and made the night scary.
The second Peter takes his focus off Jesus, down he goes.
So many focus on Peter's lack of faith here. I think the guy's cool just for getting out of the boat. Let's be honest. I wouldn't. Would you? Safety is comfort. But. . .what am I missing by playing it safe? What are we missing by not climbing out of the boat onto the waves?
God has huge plans for us. In Jeremiah He tells us that He has plans to prosper us, not to hurt us. What about you? Would you have taken on the giant if you had been a young David? The Bible is full of amazing moments that required blind faith—faith in something unseen that defies logic and does not make sense. Yet, moments in which a challenged child of God would have let his or her fears rule, would've turned out so much differently. So much. . .less.
In 2005, I had my David and Goliath moment. I went out to meet my giant with uncharacteristically giant faith. I had long had a dream of being a writer. But really hadn't done anything about it beyond wishing. Wishing is safe. And tidy. I had prayed a lot about it—but hadn't given my desire feet. I became burdened with the idea that my attitude was like saying to God, "I don't believe You're going to take care of me. I don't believe You can whip up anything satisfying for my life." I wasn't trusting God with all my life.
I traveled to my first writer's conference armed with nothing more than 20 pages of a book idea and supernatural faith built on months of prayer, claiming my dream, and relying on nothing but God. But I knew God was going to do what I began to call "The Amazing." I went to this conference expecting great things. And I think that is what made all the difference. Much like David, who went in knowing the battle was his. And God's.
That conference changed my life. Six months later I had my first book deal. The statistical chances of that happening given my lack of experience and writing? Zero. But I had to meet the giant on the battlefield for that to ever happen.
What are you dreaming of today? Or maybe for the last decade? All your life? Like me, are you living in your comfort zone? What dreams have lingered with you that won't leave you alone? Take your eyes off the raging waters, off all the logical reasons why not, reach out your hand and slip it into God's. He's been waiting for you.
Dear Lord, You have not called me to live a safe life, but a faith-filled life where I face my fears to achieve the amazing things You have planned. Help me to reach out to You, even when I'm afraid, and keep my focus on You. Bind up any fear, any excuses, any obstacles in my way, and show me Your will; Your clear path. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Just Between You and Me: A Novel of Losing Fear and Finding God by Jenny B. Jones
Pop over to P31's She Reads site today to enter a drawing for a Jenny B. Jones giveaway. One grand prize winner will receive a copy of her novel Just Between You and Me plus a fabulous gift basket: Zingerman's Baked Goods Dreambox. Four runner up winners will also receive the novel.
She Speaks Conference - P31's conference for aspiring speakers or writers
Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say when you talk to Yourself by Jennifer Rothschild
Make a list of at least five things you'd do if you only had six months to live. Next to each one, list what stops you from achieving or going after this.
Do a scripture search on fear, or blessings. Pray these verses out loud and personalize them by inserting your name and your goals. Jeremiah 29:11 is a great place to start. I used Deuteronomy 28:1-6.
What are my greatest fears? How could these fears get in the way of God's plan for my life? Of my own dreams?
How has my past manifested into fears or control issues? Are there areas I'm not surrendering to God out of fear?
John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV)
© 2010 by Jenny B. Jones. All rights reserved.
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