Monday, April 12, 2010

Out of the Boat - Part 1

Credits: A friend of mine posted about how Jesus is always there for us when we've jumped, or been pushed, or went kicking and screaming, out of the boat. I've been thinking about it ever since. You can read her comments here. Thanks for the encouragement Kim!

Matthew 14: 27-30 - But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And 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 and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Lynn's synopsis: Peter jumped out. Peter freaked out. Peter called out.

I am so out of the boat.

I guess I didn't exactly jump out of the boat. It was more like a tumble (I'm not known for being graceful). But regardless, I'm out of the boat.

And I am freaking out about it.

Bless Peter. I'm so glad he's in the Bible. I love him. I love that he had a big mouth and a big temper and that he blew it - frequently and spectacularly. And I'm thrilled that God used Peter and we all can smile when we read about Peter's antics in the gospels, because we know how the story turns out. How Peter became a bold and courageous apostle. How he lived - and died - for Christ.

But today, I'm thinking about how Peter freaked out.

The man got out of the boat. Of his own free will, he stepped out of a perfectly good boat and onto water. Water! And he walked on it. We don't know how far he walked before he realized what he had done. Maybe it was a few steps. Maybe 50 yards. But regardless, Jesus called him and he obeyed. And then he totally lost it.

For the past week or so, I've been freaking out quite a bit, once a day, OK fine. A lot. We'll leave it at that.

For me, getting out of the boat has more to do with telling people I'm a writer than the actual writing. Because now that people know . . . what do they expect? Will I be explaining to people five years from now, ten years from now, that 'yes, I'm still writing but no, I haven't been published'?

Was there any reason for Peter to get out of the boat, other than to be obedient to the call?

Does it matter if I'm ever published? Maybe to my pride. But otherwise, no. What matters is that I'm taking the next step, in obedience to my Father.

So why am I freaking out? Because I'm a perfectionist. Because I care way too much about what people think about me. Because I'm afraid of going to this conference and being embarrassed by my naivety. Because I've gotten my eyes off of my Father and on myself. Because I'm trying to do "this" myself when I'm not even sure what "this" is. Because I'm thinking about me - me - me.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14: 30-31

I have no idea why Jesus wanted Peter to get out of the boat and I have no idea why God wants me to write. But it's not just about me. God is up to something. God is always up to something. He's that kind of God!

And when I call out to Him, He takes hold of me and says, "Baby, why are you doubting?"

Ps. 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.


Manor Ridge Drive said...

Thanks to Peter, thanks to Kim and thanks to you. I've heard "what are we doing?" repeated in my head since we stuck the sign in the yard Sunday. (Well, John put it in the yard Saturday, but there wasn't a phone # on it yet!) We know it's what we are to do, but it's still hard.
BTW, we are VERY glad you got out of the boat. It has already blessed us.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Well, Manor Ridge Drive . . . I was thinking of you when I wrote this. Right now, you are defining "out of the boat" for me. And stay tuned in a few days for Out of the Boat - Part 2 . . . cause it's mostly inspired by you.
Praying for you!!

Manor Ridge Drive said...

Didn't realize I was signed in as Manor Ridge when I posted. I promise I wasn't trying to advertise! Although....