And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Thought for the Day: Follow God’s calling and then trust Him to help you overcome your fears
There are days when The Upper Room Devotion hits home and I can almost hear myself say, “I hate it when that happens!” Today was one of those as it spoke about fear and how so many times we miss things because of the fears that we have inside us. In the last few days, I have had fears about trying things and I have walked away. One time was when my boys and other boys were playing jump rope at “Lolli’s”. I so wanted to try to jump, but I didn’t and felt that tinge of regret when I left. Ironically, the other time had to do with a jump rope as well. This time, it was at my child’s school during their field day when one rotation was playing with hula hoops and jump ropes. One mother found a rope and began jumping. I watched her and thought, “I think I can still do that”, but I didn’t again because of the fear that seems to always be inside me. I missed out, again, because of fear. That is really sad.
As God calls us to do things in His kingdom, how many times have fears kept us from following His calling. As we open our new Worship Center at our Church in just a little over a week, we have had trainings for different volunteers. Two times, so far, I have found myself sitting on the outside seeing men and women trained as greeters, ushers, hospitality friends, etc. As a writer, I feel there are probably times I could volunteer my services at church that would use that talent, but I don’t because of fears of rejection or thoughts of “Am I getting ahead of God?” As I read the scripture from Matthew as a part of The Upper Room Devotion about Peter walking toward Jesus on the water, I saw something that is intriguing. Peter had courage. Peter asked Jesus to call for him to walk out on the water. He did it. Then fears overcame him as he felt the wind, and he began to sink and called out to Jesus. But then what happened? Jesus was there – Jesus was there to pull him out and to bring him to safety. My fears are still strong but what if, what if I decided to ask God’s help in doing something I am fearful of? He would help me, right? And, if I felt fear, He would be with me to pull me through. What will God call me to do today, and how will I overcome my fears to follow His calling? (My heart is actually beating loudly as I write those words)
Prayer: God, thank you for loving us and thank you for calling us into ministry. Help us overcome our fears to be able to follow you. Call us and then help us, Lord, to fulfill Your calling and to know that You are with us as we follow. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Those stopped by fear