11 August 2014

My Greatest Fear...that became my greatest lesson

Growing up the two things I was most afraid of were the dark and deep bodies of water...but especially the second.  As a little kid, I was always scared of the deep end of the pool; no matter the swimming lessons or the noodle I lounged around on I was so afraid of drowning.  When I was around 10 or 11, I almost drowned in a pool while at a friend's swim club.  My friend's older brother jumped in to get me; it was horrifying.  Even as an adult, I am still scared of the deep end of the pool and get a little nervous about swimming in lakes from time to time.
Facing your fears can be one of the most challenging but also rewarding things in life; especially when you see yourself come out stronger, which is something I relate more to in life right now.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus.  A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to go away for a weekend with teens on a youth conference.  The night before we left, I was praying with this story.  That weekend at the conference, there were several times this passage came up...even through the worship music.  Since that weekend, I have spent a lot of time reflecting this encounter with Peter and Jesus.
I have always heard that the reason Peter sank was because he took his eyes off of Jesus, which yes I get that.  But I have come to understand it all in a new light; Peter sank because he was so consumed in his fear, it became all-consuming to the point even looking away from Jesus for a moment had very real consequences.  When fear rules our lives it distracts us from what is true, good, and worthy.  When fear becomes all consuming, it wears down the spirit...it feels as if we are trying to swim our way out of it, just like Peter tried to fight against the water as he began to sink.

In my own life, it is so easy to get wrapped up in fear: fear of things I cannot control or the difficult situations I fear will never change.  But this story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus is a powerful reminder for me right now; to never ever let my fears consume and overtake life.  No matter how strong the winds or loud the thunder, life will only consume me if I allow that to happen.  Fear is one of the emotions that perhaps most trips me up in life; it makes me stumble and doubt myself and God.  Rather than to submit to fear, have courage and be strong...the waves have never and shall not consume me.
My fears, whatever they are, will only consume as much as I let them.


"When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.  'It is a ghost,' they said and cried out in fear.  At once Jesus spoke to them, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'  Peter said to him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me me to come to you on the water.'  He said, 'Come.'  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord save me!'  Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'
(Matthew 14:26-31)


 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters...and my soul will rest in Your embrace...



6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this part: "Peter sank because he was so consumed in his fear, it became all-consuming to the point even looking away from Jesus for a moment had very real consequences." I think fear can be a helpful tool in certain circumstances, if channeled correctly, but like you said it's when we turn away from Christ and become consumed by fear that it becomes truly dangerous. Loved this post!

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  2. This is amazing! And talk about a perfect analogy... And a perfect reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus!

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  3. This is beautiful. This is one of my favorite scripture readings - a strong reminder to keep your eyes on the Beloved.

    The Starving Inspired
    The Starving Inspired

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  4. thanks for this reflection Patty! We all succumb to fear and need to remember to keep our eyes in HIM

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    1. Thanks Agnes...it is such a process, but one worth never giving up on! :)

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