Sunday, September 23, 2012

Message Received

I visited church with a friend this morning and heard something I so needed to hear, but didn't realize it.  The sermon was on the story of Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on the water with Jesus (that's an enormous paraphrase by the way - see Matt. Ch. 15 vs 22-33).

Anyway...the pastor was talking about how in life so many times people stay in the boat so to speak, but how some people actually take a chance and step out on faith and get out of the boat - no matter what the result may be.  Then he said that just by stepping out of the boat to begin with, we alter our future.

That caught my attention.  I love the story about Peter walking on the water to Jesus and it came to mean more to me when I first moved out to Los Angeles.  But after moving back to make a long story short, I've struggled a lot with feeling like I took a leap of faith only to end up right back where I was to begin with, which is a place I couldn't stand to begin with (to be frank - and why mince words at this point?).

I never stopped to consider that, even if I can't see it right now, my future is not what it would have been had I not gone to California.  I knew I was different, that I'd come into my own if nothing else, but I don't think I'd considered that the future I would like to see is still possible.  And how I needed so much to hear that all was not lost.

It's interesting the way that God can prompt us to go somewhere, visit someone, or even check out a church at the exact moment when we're going to hear the sort of reassurance our soul is longing for the most.

The other thing this morning got me to thinking about is taking risks...

Sometimes we are called upon to look at our life - maybe a specific situation or just in general - and assess what (& occasionally who) we have in our life and if the "what" or "who" fits with who we want to be - or maybe more specifically who you know deep in your soul that you are despite your current situation.

Perhaps sometimes we are not simply called to step out of the boat.  Perhaps we are called to jump ship when it's really a choice of thriving or drowning.

Just a thought.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Something Beautiful

I've experienced a kind of re-birth of hope lately.  And one that I have to believe has come from God because all of the outside signs point to the exact opposite.

My favorite verse is one that I've leaned on a lot over the past couple of years especially - Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  Perhaps it's learning to lean on that trust that actually has helped with the peace I have.

But there's another verse I love - Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..." and this verse has simultaneously given me peace and made me furrow my brow more than once.

The first time I heard this verse, or rather the first time it registered with me what it really said all I could think was really God? cause I can imagine an awful lot.  And I have admittedly had moments particularly over the last couple of years where that question changed to are you really sure? cause I'm not sure what to imagine anymore.

But lately, somehow, things have shifted and I have what I can only describe as a sense of possibility again. And that is beautiful.

Perhaps God brings us down rocky paths knowing we're going to ask those questions and knowing also that if we hang onto Him, we'll arrive at a place where peace comes from the one thing we need most at that time.

Just a thought.