Why Did I Doubt?

Matthew 14:25-33

Five years ago this month, on January 22, 2010 my father in-law passed away.  That was the day I realized God was real and I began searching for more information about Him. A few months later I gave my life to Jesus.

About a year after I became a Christian I started having health problem after health problem.  Over the past few years I have had a bit of everything…heart issues, a problem with my esophagus, 4 knee surgeries, a hysterectomy and some very serious eye issues.  January of 2011 I had a blood clot in my right eye and at one point I was almost totally blind in that eye.  That was eventually healed I now have most of the vision back in that eye and what is missing I do not notice with both eyes open.  After that healed a few months later other eye problems started and over the past 4 years I have had a lot of eye issues. When one thing heals something else usually starts.

This Past September I had a macular hole in my left eye a few days after the Doctor diagnosed it I started seeing better suddenly one day and when I went back to see the doctor I found out that it had just just vanished… healed all by itself by God, surprising my doctor. I was not surprised it had healed because God told me as I lay on a beach that it would be alright. (See  Leaving Panic Behind Under Palapa #39 ). I did not know at that time if alright meant that He would heal my eye or that I would go blind but I still knew no matter what the outcome it was going to be alright.  By this point in my life I had realized that no matter what has happened over the past few years God has always been there for me showing me that he has everything under control. when He said it would be alright I fully had peace and I believed and trusted Him.

Most of my life before God I never really trusted anyone to much.  When I was a kid we moved all the time and people were not so nice to me.  I spent my childhood building up a lot of walls of protection. I didn’t really plan to be that way or realize it at the time but now looking back I can see it well.

When Jesus came into my life those barrier walls gradually started crumbling down, but I will admit I still struggle with the trust thing at times.

By now I fully know what God is capable of and not just because of the miracles he has brought about in my own life.  The complexity of life itself, and things like the roar of the ocean, a sunrise or a sunset is proof enough that He is fully in control.

So now after telling you how much I trust God I am going to tell you how I recently failed at trusting God…..

Shortly after the macular hole in my eye was healed by God I was asked to be the missions chair at my church. To me that felt like something huge and scary but I prayed about it and I accepted the position knowing fully that it was what God wanted me to do.  Even though it felt big and pretty scary I still felt confident that if God gave me the job that He was going to lead me in it.  When I said yes to the job I was truly at peace about it.

Shorty after I accepted some things happened that totally blew my confidence out of the water.  There were few things that were said to me that left me feeling like maybe I was off track or did not hear God correctly.  I prayed and prayed about it and eventually I thought I had put it away, I was good for a few weeks but then insecurity started creeping back in.  I  went back and forth for several weeks feeling as if I was caught in a whirl wind.  I would feel like it was okay and then something would happen and I would go back down again.

Things kept running through my head like – ‘what do I think I am doing being head of missions?’ ‘I still feel like I barely know my Bible, maybe I should go learn more about God first,’ ‘I am just too new at this God thing to be doing anything like this when there are so many more people in my church who probably would be better for the job,’ ‘people won’t agree with or believe that the ideas God puts in my head are what what he wants me to do,’ you name it and I am sure it crossed my mind.

Thankfully this past Friday things suddenly changed….

I am the person at our church that puts together the slides for our church’s service each week.   This past week I was working on the sermon slides for the church service and the sermon was titled ‘Why Did You Doubt?’  The scripture used was Matthew 14:25-33.

Matthew 14:25-33

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

As I read the scripture suddenly all of the past weeks came rushing in and I realized that I have been behaving like Peter. In the beginning I had my eyes focused on Jesus as I stepped out of the boat to accept the missions position, but somewhere along the line I had let a few things somebody said shake my confidence and then I had allowed lies to started pouring in, eventually filling me with insecurity and fear and I now I was sinking.

There I was sitting in the sanctuary of my church working on sermon slides and suddenly it was like Jesus just reached out his hand and caught me saying “hey T, I’ve been here all along guiding you! Why did you take your eyes off of me? Why did you doubt?”

Whoa…After all I have been through these past 4 years with God showing me time and time again he is in charge, showing me his power, and his peace,  I know these things and yet I had doubted! How had I let this happen?!

Suddenly it was like a lightning bolt went off in my head and I was like I was filled with some sort of great knowledge and then peace washed over me.  My confidence was back again. Not confidence in me but confidence that because God brought me to this and it is HIS will, He has this all under control.  All I have to do is follow where he leads and He will make sure His plan happens.

When Sunday finally came around and my pastor gave his sermon, as I was sitting there in the audience listening I realized I was getting the same sermon again that God had given me on Friday. It was like God was reminding me once again, “I got this T”

I wonder how many times I will have to hear this same sermon before I stop doing things like this. Peter saw Jesus feed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and yet he still doubted! I have read this before and thought how could he do that??? But now that the ball is in my own court I did exactly the same thing, God healed my eye of a macular hole without the doctor doing a thing and yet I still had doubted!

Looking back over the past five years I realize that God has totally changed my life.  I never would have believed this life I live right now would be my life if someone had tried to tell me five years ago, just that fact alone is so much proof of what God can do.

Five years ago I was pretty mixed up messed up person, I can’t really say that I will ever have it all together as long as I live on this earth, but today I do have Jesus along as my guide and I do feel as if I have finally reached the right path in life and as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus and let Him be my guide.

Do you feel as if you are sinking today?  I think we all find from time to time we feel as if we are sinking. I do know that Jesus has the power to keep us above the things that make us feel as if we are sinking.

But if we still find ourselves beginning to go down all we have to do is put our eyes on Him and He will catch us and pull us back up.

My prayer today…

Dear Lord,

Please take from me anything that takes my eyes off of you.  I know that I can boldly walk wherever you may lead, confident in the fact that as long as my eyes stay focused on you, you will keep me from sinking.   I pray this prayer to you today not just for me, but also for anyone else who may feel as if they are sinking. Please catch them and lift them up.

Thank you Father for all that you do, Amen.

Love, T

He will Catch You

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  Matthew 14:22-33

Have you ever had the events of your life swirling around you so big that you felt as if you were sinking under the weight of them?

In the scripture above Peter could see Jesus in front of him walking on water. He looks to me to be so focused on Jesus as he stepped out of the boat that he did not think much about the wind that was swirling around him.   Unfortunately as he started across the water he began to notice the wind and even though he could still see Jesus right in front of him he began losing his focus on Him.  Peter then became frightened, which then caused him to begin to sink.

Has this ever happened to you?

Some days I have felt like I was so focused on Jesus that nothing could ever cause me to lose sight of Him, but then out of nowhere the storms of life start to swirl around me.  The more the storms swirl the more I find myself thinking about how big and scary they are and forgetting how big and strong my Jesus is.  When this happens within a matter of seconds I have found myself beginning to sink even though Jesus was standing right in front of me the whole entire time.

Thankfully just as he did with Peter, Jesus has reached out his hand to catch me…not just once, but many many times.

No matter how strong the storms of life may become thankfully no storm is ever to big for Jesus.

Do you find yourself feeling as if you are sinking today?

Remember that  Jesus will never leave you.

He will not let you sink,

He is right there beside you reaching out his hand to catch you.

Put your trust in Him and let his peace calm your storm today.

 

 

Live Second Day 31 Footwash: ~ My Feet Don't Stink

67002_10151161186412337_1774926524_nDay 31 of My Live Second Journey – Footwash: My Feet Don’t Stink

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  John 13:14-15

Today’s scripture is from John 13:1-20.34-35.  In this scripture the time is shortly before the Passover Feast.  Jesus and his disciples are sitting down to a meal and Jesus knowing the time has come for him to leave this world decides to show his disciples the full extent of his love by washing their feet.

The first time I read this I thought ‘Oh how yuk and weird is that?!  Can you imagine Jesus and his disciples all sitting around the table for dinner and just as the food starts to be served Jesus gets up, takes off his outer clothing wraps a towel around himself, fills a basin with water and begins to wash people’s feet?!?  The thought of washing someone else’s feet sounds pretty disgusting and to top it off he chose to do it just as the food was being served. This would not exactly be my idea of a before dinner appetizer.

We would never think that Jesus who was Lord and teacher would ever have to or even want to wash another person’s feet. Yet he chose to do it and he did it lovingly.  Even the fact that Judas Iscariot had already begun to betray him and Peter was soon to follow by denying him did not stop Jesus from this act of love.

Washing someone else’s feet does not sound very appealing to me and I am sure back in those days people did not have the pampered softly manicured feet we have today.  They did not have cars so they walked everywhere they went. I am pretty sure those guys had some of the stinkiest, smelliest, dirtiest feet around.

This past weekend I had a little dinner get together of my own.  One of my guests was someone I haven’t been liking a whole lot lately.  This person is pretty annoying, very loud, and obnoxious and most of the time drunk so for several years I have been avoiding this person like the plague.

Have you ever noticed how some of the people you know come as a packaged deal?  Maybe your husband really likes the husband but you don’t get along with his wife?  Or you may love hanging out with your Aunt Mable but your Uncle Bud drives you nuts?  Since you can not invite only one of them to dinner and not invite the other they become a package deal.  Everyone loves a package deal when shopping but package deals are maybe not so good when it comes to people.

When my guests arrived I was determined try my best to be kind, friendly and most of all stay away from that guest!  I was very thankful that most the day everything pretty much worked it out to where I was able to stay away from my favorite (sarcasm) guest.  But then somehow after dinner I ended up alone in conversation with the person I had been avoiding most of the day.

I began to make small talk while in my mind I secretly worked on my plan of escape.  Then all the sudden this person began telling me stuff I never knew about them.  In the course of the conversation I found out the person had pretty well hit rock bottom.  They also knew that they had screwed their life up to the point of hurting their health and family.  This person was now stuck in a huge pit of despair caused by their own self destruction had been trying desperately to find a way out.  My heart began to feel stabs of pain.  The pain I felt was not my pain but the pain that this person was feeling inside.  Then I began to notice that to be added to that was the pain of people like me who were judging and ignoring them.

The more I listened I realized that nothing could ever compare to the time that I sat there just listening and conversing with this person as they poured their heart out.  All of the sudden I wanted to give this person my help and love.   This person needed to know someone cared about them and that there is always hope.

This conversation was kind of like a foot washing to me, by taking the time to listen I was in a sense washing this person’s feet.  While washing I began to realize I was giving them my love and compassion and did not expect anything back in return.   Something else I discovered was when I stooped down to the level of someone else I saw that there really had never been any level at all.

How will I live more second today?  By trying to be an example of Jesus’ love, by loving unconditionally, humbly and maybe even washing a few dirty feet… starting with my own.

 The Lord and Teacher became servant.  And he calls us to do the same.  Whatever honor we have earned, whatever rights we have acquired, whatever prestige we hold, Jesus calls us to set those aside and become a servant, an example of love and humbleness’ – Live Second

Thank you for reading 🙂

#IASfootwash