Let me be the first to say that life is hard! Sometimes life can get so hard that I begin to focus more on life’s issues and obstacles rather than believing in who God is and what I believe he can do in my life. Have you ever gone through something and just feel like there is no way God is moving in this situation? I have.
Not once but multiple times. One of the biggest obstacles that I am dealing with today is fear. Specifically, the fear of not resembling the woman I hope and desire to become someday. This obstacle in my life has crippled the way I view myself in many ways, especially as a student. The fear of not passing my pre-med courses used to leave me frightened almost every day. I would get so anxious to the point where I would believe that my dream of becoming a physician was nearly impossible. Attending medical school no longer felt like a desire but more like a goal that I would never reach. The feelings of fear and anxiety that would invade my body was, and sometimes still is, the boisterous wind and seas in my life.
When I think about my fears and doubts in life, and what it causes me to do (doubt God), I can’t help but think of the story of Peter and how Jesus told him to come out of the boat to walk on water. When I look at the story of Jesus walking on water, the bible tells us that the disciples were in the boat and that the boat was being tossed and turned by the waves (Matthew 14:24). As the disciples are trying to get themselves situated in the boat, they see Jesus from afar walking on water. They could not believe their eyes and thought Jesus was a ghost. Here comes one of my favorite parts; the story goes on to tell us that Jesus immediately spoke to them, saying,
“Take heart; it is I. DO NOT BE AFRAID.” Then, of course, Peter says,
“If it is you, tell me to come to you.”
Jesus said, “Come.”
What do you think happened next?...
Yes, you’re right, Peter began to walk on water! But Peter did something that we all tend to do in life (especially us as Christians). When we look at Matthew 14:30, it says,
“But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”.
I am not going to lie to you; sometimes I am Peter and Peter is me. There are times where I can get so carried away with life’s problems (the “wind”) that I end up taking my eyes off of the only person that truly matters even when I am in the midst of a storm, Jesus. My daily problems can feel so thick that it causes me to go into a deep place of fear… just like Peter. When I have had about enough of what life has thrown at me, I begin to sink and cry out,
“Lord, save me!”....JUST LIKE PETER.
Here is the best part of the story, well at least in my opinion. In the same chapter but verse thirty-one, the bible says,
“IMMEDIATELY, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.”
“You of little faith,” Jesus said, “Why did you doubt?”
Verse thirty-one is my absolute favorite part of the story. I love this verse so much because in this verse alone, I recognize the faithfulness of God. The Lord knows that I doubt him. It’s not a secret because He’s omniscient (all-knowing), and He knows that I am human. What makes God so faithful is that although God knows that I sometimes put limits on Him when he is absolutely limitless, He still CHOOSES to save me from my doubts and fears. He doesn’t allow me to drown in my problems. Instead, He immediately reaches his hand to draw me out of the water (my doubts).
Every day of my life, I am trying to fix my eyes on Jesus. I no longer want to live as a slave to fear but instead, live as a child of God. As a child of God, I cannot allow the enemy access to my peace, joy, or dreams. As a child of the God of peace, I simply cannot allow it. I want Jesus and all of Him! And with Him present in my life, fear must tremble and flee in Jesus’ name! We all have a boisterous wind and sea in our lives; mine is fear. Yours might be an addiction, depression, or even this very pandemic (COVID-19). One thing I want to leave you with is that God is bigger than your roaring sea! He sees you, just call on him, and he will answer.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4: 6-7