05 April 2016

Faith = Appearing Completely Nuts

Matthew 14:

25 Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed.

27 Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”

29 And Jesus said, “Come.”

Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!”

31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind settled down.

33 Then those in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!”

There's so much I've learned from this story, and much I still have to learn. Today, though, God has had me thinking about how absolutely bonkers Peter must have looked, climbing out of that boat into the tempest. Can you imagine what some of the other disciples might've been saying?

"Man, that Peter. He's always been a hothead. It's sad he's gotta go this way, though."

"I knew his passion would get him into trouble one day, but I never dreamed it'd be suicide . . . "

Then shouting--or in desperate whisper in his ear--from someone he loved, their bond forged over many crazy days following Jesus: "Peter! Don't, man! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING????? Don't! Don't! DON'T!!!", grabbing at his clothing, trying to keep him from certain death.

Odds are there were others, though, who met his eye and knew what he knew: that was their Yeshua calling, and it would be okay.

Peter heeded the voice of the One he loved--the One whose voice he knew so well. A ghost couldn't speak with the Lord's voice, and when Peter heard "Come", he knew who it was. No demon could mimic the way that voice pierced his soul, or the love that resounded in the single syllable.

A friend recently posted on facebook something incredibly wise from his wife:

"You cannot build God's reputation if you aren't willing to ruin yours".

Everything He calls me to do flies in the face of worldly wisdom. "You won't get sick," He told me, when the first of my children headed into a series of colds and flus a month ago. And so, when my throat aches or I cough a few times, or I get that tired feeling that usually indicates getting sick, I don't believe what my flesh is telling me. I'm standing on the word of God. He said; and so I will walk on that water. And there are many other ways He's calling me into--I know how nuts they sound to the flesh, especially the wisdom in which I was raised--and yet how soundly scriptural they are. We have been taught our whole lives "What you see is what you get", but God says to believe what He says that is unseen over that which our eyes can show us, because what is unseen is that which is eternal.

Father God, keep calling me. I'm so grateful you will, and want to add my encouragement and willingness to your voice. Keep on keeping me. Keep on challenging me. And keep teaching me. I love you, and I love that with you, my heart is utterly and completely and totally safe. Always. Show me more, God. Teach me more. And let me find you in more and more places in my life, and pour out into others' lives what you have lavished on me, in Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!