My sister was recently telling me about Patsy Clairmont’s testimony. When she was young with small children her fears had gripped her so tightly that she eventually didn’t leave the house. She was agoraphobic. One day she felt God was calling her out to serve Him and she decided to obey. She was shocked, though, to discover what He was calling her to do! Just get up and make your bed everyday.
Like so many of us, she thought God would work through something far bigger and more amazing than the simple and mundane. However, God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Is. 55:8-9) We cannot see the big picture because we do not sit in the place (God does) to have that perspective. Therefore we must trust His guidance.
Like Patsy, I wanted to step out into service to the Lord. Like Peter, I asked Him to call me out on the waters with Him. I thought He’d use the talents He’d given me to glorify Him. You know, the way someone with a great voice sings for God’s glory or the way someone who is adept at teaching does so for the Lord and so on… Here are my talents Lord. How will you use them?
Yet, He was calling me to something beyond me; something in which I had no strength and knew little about. Because God works in ways we do not understand He uses our weakness to confound the mighty and our foolishness to confound the wise (1Cor. 1:7). I mean, how much glory would I really GIVE God if He decided to use my gifts (though God-given they are often humanly-claimed)? On the other hand, if He chooses to use me in an area which I have NO confidence, who gets the glory then? (Yup! He does!)
I must lean hard on Him and draw closer to Him for understanding and strength and help to do that which I cannot. THAT is why He chose Moses to lead the children of Israel. Moses was not a prolific speaker! As a matter of fact, in Exodus 4:10 Moses tells the Lord that he is not eloquent and even claims to be of slow speech and a slow tongue. Many commentators believe that Moses stuttered or had some other type of speech impediment. Still God chose HIM to lead the people. May I suggest that it was BECAUSE of this handicap that God chose him? God knew that Moses’ weakness would cause him to lean on the Lord for strength and wisdom. It would cause Moses to need God, to seek God. It would make him into the leader God desired him to be; one that is dependent on God!
After God began calling me out, like Peter, I too got scared and began to sink! I took my eyes off of Christ and put them on all the things I couldn’t possibly do (without Him) and began to sink. I was in unknown territory without the comfort of having knowledge, experience or confidence in it. And yet, I was right where God wanted me! In the perfect position to rely on His strength, His knowledge, His confidence.
It took me more time than it should have to figure that out! I teetered on the edge of my calling, doubting whether I really heard it or not. Did God realllllly say that? You know, the devil has been saying this to women ever since he said it to Eve! Then, one day I realized that. I began to understand that once you hear that still small voice, that tug at your heart, that stirring inside you, the next step is one of FAITH! God will not make that step for you, it is for you to take, otherwise it would be forced and not our own step. When I got to this point I lolly-gagged around there for a while. Doubting. Re-thinking. Questioning. Praying. Talking, lots of talking. I hate to admit it, but I asked Him over and over if what I heard was real. Though I knew it was. I felt it in me like the pounding of my own heart. I knew. So, what was I waiting for? Fear had taken me to a new level. I was like a hamster on a wheel. Every day was the same thing. The only way to stop it was to TAKE THAT STEP.
My husband wrote this in his bible may years ago and it still speaks to my heart: “Don’t undo in doubt what you began in faith.” Does that speak to you like it does to me? When Peter began to sink he cried, Lord save me! and Jesus said to him, Oh you with so little faith, why did you doubt? And then He took Peter into the ship. (Matthew 14). Why indeed! There he was standing on the waters with the One who created them and caused them to ebb and flow. He looked into the eyes of the Creator, the wind blew, the waters waved, and he looked down. He freaked out! Jesus right beside him with His arms extended and Peter still became scared and looked away. Why? Because, like us, he still doubted. No matter how many times we experience the Lord’s peace and miraculous deliverance we still doubt Him. I don’t know about you but I would prefer that Jesus said to me, Be it unto you according to your faith as He spoke to the blind men in Matthew 9 than Why did you doubt me?
When Jesus bids us come we need not fear. He is there with us on the waters just like He was with Peter, just like He was with Moses. Remember these words of Moses that he learned in his walk with the Lord:
The Lord goes with you, He will be with you and will not fail you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or unnerved. (paraphrased) Deuteronomy 31:8
Come on in with me beloved! The water really is fine!