Posts Tagged ‘risks’

Well, here it is, the end of July already.  It has been a productive month though, as I continue to get a lot of repairs and paint jobs completed around the house.  I owe a big thank you to the friends and family who have helped with these projects. The place has never looked so good.

I also continue with support raising and get closer to the amount needed to cover monthly expenses. I’m currently at 70%! I’ve also been taking on-line courses on rural development and micro-finance.  I really like the courses and the best part, they didn’t cost anything. It’s amazing how much wonderful information one can find on the web if you search long enough.

During the past few weeks I had allowed myself to get loaded down in worries.  I found myself thinking too much on the “what ifs” in my life. What if my house doesn’t sell, what if money runs out before the house sells, what if the car needs major repair, what if this happens, what if that doesn’t happen? You know, the kind of worrisome thinking that can escalate and go on and on, if you let it. Recently, after spending a morning cleaning and preparing my house for a showing, I grabbed my bible and purse and headed out the door. I knew I was past due for some genuine quiet time with God, away from all distractions.

I stopped first at Dunkin Donuts to reward my hard labor with a “caramel swirl” ice coffee and then headed towards a spot that sits up high overlooking the airport. I was looking for a quiet place with little distractions (hard to do in the city) and thought that would be a good place just watching the planes fly in and out but as I approached it a better place came to mind so I continued my drive to find my silence and peace at a quiet pond.

After scoping out the best place to park I found a spot where I could pull the car up along side the pond. It was lightly raining so my solitude would have to be spent inside the car. Except for the occasional car that passed by, it was quiet and very peaceful as I sat looking over the pond with its lily pads and croaking frogs. I began my quiet time in prayer and as I poured out all my worries and concerns I could really feel the Lord’s presence and oh, it was so comforting.

As I sat there staring at the pond and talking with the Lord, I could almost see Him in the middle of that pond. His arms were out-stretched and He was telling me, “okay, now walk”.

Earlier this year I did a blog that included the passage from Matthew 14:25-31 that describes how Peter, when he saw Jesus walking towards him on the sea, took a huge step in faith, climbed out of the boat and walked towards Jesus. I wrote at that time that I felt it was time for me to get out of the boat. Well, my house is on the market, the majority of my possessions have been sold or given away, I have left the financial security of a good job, and I’m willing to leave my family. I think I’m out of the boat. Now, to walk.

What do these passages from Matthew really mean, what is it that God is trying to teach us through them?

The next afternoon I was searching for teachings on these verses and came across some messages from Intouch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley. There were two that he taught from Matthew 14:22-33 that I just found so timely. They are titled “Taking Risks” and are in two parts.

According to Dr. Stanley, Peter took a risk when he stepped out of that boat. Peter watched Jesus walking across the water, in the middle of the sea and thought (or knew) Jesus would give him the power to do the same. So he stepped out, took some steps and was doing just fine but then he took his focus off of Jesus and onto the storm in front of him. He began to sink. However, he had shown courage just by stepping out of that boat and he must have had enough faith to know Jesus wouldn’t let him drown.

As Dr. Stanley explains, the Christian life and God’s call on our life is all about taking risks. We can’t grow and be fully used by God unless we’re willing to take risks and be challenged. God may challenge our abilities, our talent and He may ask us to do something we’ve never done before, to give up something we don’t want to give up or to go someplace we don’t want to go. God is looking for us to completely surrender and give Him complete control on our life. He will ask us to take risks and will pull us out of our comfort zone.  He will take us from playing it safe. Why? Because He is looking for our complete faith, for our total focus to be on Him.

What is the benefit of taking risks, being challenged, surrendering it all? We’ll reach our full potential in our Christian life and God may use us in ways that we never imagined. What are the consequences for playing it safe and saying no to God’s calling? We miss out on all that God has planned for our life. We’ll miss the blessings.

As I sat there looking at the pond I could hear Jesus saying, “keep your eyes focused on me and you will not sink, you will not fail because I am here”.

So, as I continue this journey, I will do my best not to succumb to the “what ifs” that will surely weight me down and sink me, but when I feel my courage draining and fear overtaking me, I will do my best to put my focus back on Jesus.  I know obedience to God’s calling never results in failure.

I so much appreciate those who continue to pray for me as I continue to prepare for Uganda.  Thank you!

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