A few weeks ago I posted the verse below from Galatians 6:9 about not growing weary of doing good, which has become my anchor in this season of busy schedules and church planting challenges. It’s perfect for this season because it easily applies to every area of my life in which I desire to remain steadfast.
Do not grow weary of setting aside time to abide in the Vine.
Do not grow weary of loving and listening to my husband.
Do not grow weary of training up my children.
Do not grow weary of being a good friend and neighbor.
Do not grow weary of keeping my home tidy.
Do not grow weary of eating healthy and exercising even when….maybe especially when… the scale doesn’t budge.
Do not grow weary of…
The list could extend for pages, really.
So, I posted this verse on the blog facebook page and after seeing it there a few times, kind of forgot about it.
And wouldn’t you know that after weeks of not having a single new visitor (and very few actual attendees), we had not one… not two… but three unexpected guests last Sunday! In fact, one couple has been invited nearly every week by my persistent husband since the church plant opened way back during Easter.
There’s more. After prayer walking that same Sunday afternoon, we had almost a dozen extra visitors during our bread ministry that week and actually ran out of bread!
Do you think maybe the Lord was trying to teach us something?
Here’s the thing: Sometimes we’ve prayed for something so fervently, and for so long, that we quit waiting expectantly. And then when the answer comes, when the need is met, we fail to recognize the significance.
As a daughter of the Most High, I often grow childishly impatient. I want an answer right now. I want clarity. I want an inkling of the Father’s plan. I want some sort of tangible evidence that we are on the right path.
If I’m honest, I want miracles.
And this is where I can most relate to Peter, who asked to walk on water with Jesus and then stumbled, nearly drowning in his own doubt.
Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Mt. 14:28-29
I’m sure that first step was a mountaintop experience, a spiritual high like none other. I’m sure Peter was elated, soaring on faith-wings that yearned to stretch wider and swoop higher!
Yes, I’m doing it. I’m doing it!
I’m equally certain that the floundering steps that followed were terrifying.
Maybe it felt like too big of a leap of faith. Maybe the wind and waves increased in size and ferocity. For whatever reason, his confidence wavered.
Wait, am I really doing this? What if I can’t keep it up? What if my faith is too small?
But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Mt. 14:30-31
What right did Peter have to walk on water in the first place?
Who was he to make such a bold request?
He was no one.
Yet in the eyes of Jesus, he was worth an abundant amount of time, effort, and instruction. He was worth forgiving even as he was busy betraying.
And before Jesus left this earth, He claimed His Church would be built upon Peter. Imperfect Peter with the imperfect faith (Mt. 16:18).
You see, friends, we need a faith that leaps – yes, we do, but we also need a faith that stumbles on water.
We need that sudden sinking, that floundering fear that drives us straight into the arms of our Savior. Because when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Cor. 12:10).
It’s when we begin to think that we can do it on our own, when that smidgen of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency sneaks its way in, that we should truly be frightened. That truth has never been more clear to me than these last few years of struggle.
Friends, if I only talked about the faith that leaps, I’d be remiss.
I’d be painting only half of the picture.
The truth is that these last few months have been full of walking-on-water moments followed by sudden sinking and ultimately a return to the truth that trumps all others – we need Him.
We need our Father God.
We cannot do it alone as much as our perfectionism preaches to us that we can, for even our very faith comes from the Lord and not ourselves (Eph.2:8-9).
We need to keep believing that He will “show up” for us. We need to keep waiting expectantly. We need to look for the work-in-progress He is completing in us.
So, if you’ve had some of those moments of stumbling on the water lately, take heart and look to Jesus just as Peter did.
And in the words of Toby Mac,