Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water (Matthew 14:25, NCV).
Friend to Friend
Did you know that the African impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet? Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in any zoo by a three-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.
What a great picture of faith. Authentic faith naturally produces action, but faith is hindered unless we abandon ourselves to that faith. That means we are willing to jump even if we don’t know where we will land.
Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see. John Shedd says, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” Faith is willing to take risks, embrace the unseen and step away from the safety of the shore.
Many people say they do believe God is who He says He is and that He is able to do what He says he will do, but falter at the point of believing that God is willing to work in their lives. If we don’t believe He is willing to keep His promises, we are not walking in faith. Oh, we find it easy to agree mentally with the truth that we serve a powerful God who loves us and has a great plan for our life. But that belief is worthless until it changes the way we live. If we don’t live it, we don’t really believe it. If we are not willing to step away from the shore, we will miss so much of what God has for us in life.
The life of Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s willingness to work in our lives. The disciples had personally witnessed God’s willingness to save His children. Yet, in Matthew 14, we find them in a boat, caught in a storm, afraid and still questioning God’s willingness to rescue them. Did they cry out in fear? Yes! Did He come? Yes!
Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water, between three and six o’clock in the morning, the darkest time of the night. I have often wished I could have been on that boat with the disciples, waiting for Jesus to show up. I imagine the questions and complaints were flying. “Why would Jesus send us out here, knowing the waves were high? Where is He? Why is He waiting so long to rescue us? Can’t He just calm the waves like He did before? I ministered all day long and this is my reward? Is He really coming? I don’t understand!” Sound familiar? I’m afraid it does to me.
We are quick to believe the lie that God is angry with us and will not bless our life or meet our needs. The truth is that God is willing and waiting to pour out His favor and blessings on a life of faith. Hebrews tells us that faith always honors God and God always honors faith.
“Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find Him” (Hebrews 11:6, NCV).
I think part of the problem with our understanding of faith is that we don’t know how to define “blessing.” A blessing is not always easy, painless, simple, comfortable or expected. A blessing often comes, wrapped in the mystery of darkness. But I am learning the truth that anything that makes us cry out to God can be counted as a blessing.
Because when we are desperate and in pain, when we have no answers and the darkness is closing in, we cry out to God, and He comes! Not because we have earned His presence or His mercy, but because we cried out with a tiny seed of faith. Step away from that shore! He will meet you there.
Father, I come to You today with a faith that seems so small. I want to believe You, Lord. I want to walk by faith, knowing that You will keep every promise You have ever made. Help my unbelief, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is the first step of faith you need to take today?
Are you willing to take it right now?
More from the Girlfriends
The "Fear Factor" is not just a television show. Many women deal with paralyzing fear on a daily basis. Fear makes everything seem bigger than it really is, wastes energy and contaminates life itself. Mary’s Bible Study, Getting a Grip on Fear uncovers God's plan for peace and identifies five ways to deal with and be free from fear.
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