Matthew14:28-31:- 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.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (ESV)
Back in November 2011, on a church weekend away, work was getting me down because of proposed changes being a totally preventable calamity. Anyway, as we were away together I shared with a young man. He has a keen mind and I can see God’s hand on him. Patiently, he listened to my in-depth analysis and prayed for me. Frankly, I think he was a bit stunned by my candour.
Six months later I found myself standing next to him again, as we supported the prayer ministry from a visiting speaker. He said he had a word for me. He believed that I had spent too much of my time focusing my cross-hairs (he is ex-army) on the problem at work, and that this had taken my priority away from God. He said that God wanted me to redirect my attention away from the issues and back onto His praise and worship.
I was reminded of how, during my stay in hospital a few years ago, God had encouraged me to put His worship first. Hannah my eldest daughter lent me an iPod classic full of Christian worship tunes. So I played and sang in my head: Blessed Be Your Name, by Matt Redman,(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qp11X6LKYY) and it made such a difference. Somehow during a time when it was touch-and-go I could sense the edge of heaven for a few days and my trepidation was lessened. It was ok to die.
Since my illness God has been putting me back together stronger and wiser increasing in faith; presumably so that I would not be overcome by oppression.
Now I am different, consternation has gone! Since then I have had meetings with managers, and still the joy of the Lord stays with me, as I turn back to His praise after the events! It was as if a penny finally dropped somewhere inside, there was a paradigm shift. God has a purpose for me to be more than a loving father, husband and provider.
I guess God has been asking of me the questions:
Has not every blessing come from me, wife, children, and house? So why despair about matters that are not that important? Did I not deliver you out of the jaws of death?
By faith as small as a mustard seed, Jesus breaks the power of doubt and fear and brings joy for those of us stuck in the world, who take up His invitation to climb out of the boat and follow!
PRAYER: LORD, call us and we will come. Enable us to overcome our apprehension and short-comings by Your Grace and acceptance. Please grant in us a pure heart and a sound mind to comprehend the enormity of Your Love for us and where that will take us today, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Rod Marshall Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England