Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ripples of faith.....

Peter saw a figure walking across the water and was afraid.  Yep, I think that would make my heart beat a wee bit faster, too!  When he realized it was Jesus, however, he became super-charged.  He asked Jesus that if it was really him for him to call him. "Come!" Jesus said.  (Matt. 14: 22-31) And Peter didn't hesitate.  He lept out of that boat.

Often when we see an amazing display of the power of God and are convinced that what's in front of us is part of what He's doing, it can be easy to leap.  Easy to say, "Yes!" and jump.  Brave and certainly displaying a God-honoring level of faith, but not as difficult as later.

What's hard is when we see the wind and the waves.  When we're out on the lake with nothing firm under our feet and at the mercy of the elements.  We thought that that first jump was the test of our faith, but it wasn't.  It's the walking after that shapes us.

I've lept before.  I jumped on a plan when I was 19 and headed to Asia by myself at His call.  I did it again at 25 with my three month old baby in my arms and moved to Fiji.  I did it at 38 when I boarded a plan back to the USA which was nearly 'foreign' to me by then.  And again at 41 moving to India with 4 kids in tow.  Each time took a measure of faith but it was the AFTER that changed and shaped me.  That taught me to truly trust when the rubber met the road.

When Peter saw the wind and waves and wavered, Jesus didn't condemn.  He didn't berate, didn't let Peter fall.  He 'immediately' reached out His hand and held Peter up.  And gently asked him why he'd doubted.  Something like, "Child, why did you worry?  Why did you doubt?  Did you forget that I am the One who told you to come?  Don't you trust me?  Do you doubt my power?  Do you doubt my care for you?"

Recently I jumped again.  My life-long love of jewelry as an art form crystallized with the realization that there are businesses providing employment for women at risk and for women trapped in the sex trade, and that representing them was underutilized in New Zealand.  I knew that doing something as part of promoting them was right up my alley.  I prayed.  Ideas flooded my head------and I lept off the boat.

You can find Holding Hope Collection on Facebook!
But now, although leaping is familiar territory to me, I've looked at the waves a few times.  I've sold jewelry as a job before LONG ago, but doubt my ability to do it now.  I wonder if I'll have wasted my precious, limited start up funds?  Can I really do this?  What if my ideas dry up?  What if I can't relay the passion for the project that I feel to others?

What if I'm a big, fat flop?

After Peter's fantastic leap of faith his mistake was that took his eyes off of Jesus.  He looked at the wind and the waves.  He must have thought, "WHAT in the world am I doing?  This isn't possible!  I can't do this!  I'm gonna drown!" Until that hand 'immediately' reached for him and held him tight.  Until that voice soothed away his fears and challenged him to trust.

And real faith kicked in.

It's not that Peter never doubted again, but he knew where his focus should be.  The only other real documented time of doubt was right before Jesus was crucified and Peter didn't know where to look. But Jesus himself called Peter 'the rock,' a firm foundation of faith that carried Peter through martyrdom later with a whole lot of steps of faith in between.

Sometimes when the waves roll and winds blow and we're doing our best to keep our eyes on the face of Christ, we need to remember that the journey of faith is still one step at a time.  Eyes on him, take a step.  And another.  And another.  And like ripples in a pond our faith grows, one step at a time.

I've been wearing a visual reminder myself lately.  It's a ring I got this week from someone who works in the Philippines focusing on education to prevent trafficking (I have one more if someone wants it!).  In the middle of my own, "I can't believe that I jumped off the boat!" time it reminds me of the ripple effect.  It's a visual of ripples from a pebble dropped and reminds me that small things become big things affecting and impacting beyond what we even know.

All we need to do is keep our eyes on Him and take that next little step before us, or drop our little pebble for Him and watch the ripples grow.  So simple, yet so challenging and life changing as well.

And it allows us, like Peter defying physics through the power of God, to be part of a miracle!

No comments: