If you read my most recent post about pursuing passion, you may recall that I now have two exciting new jobs to support my pursuit of a career as a freelance makeup artist. As my previous post explains, working as a makeup artist is my passion, so you can only imagine my own personal disdain when I found myself at dinner earlier this week completely ashamed of pursuing my dreams. As we were sitting around the table catching up with family members, I was asked about my new job. Rather than respond with enthusiasm about the blessings and open doors I have received by using my God-given abilities, I instead detailed my marketing job only. I purposely left out any detail of my makeup business and assistantship because I was scared of what my own family members would think of me! In fact, the only reason it was brought up in conversation is because of my sweet and encouraging husband who couldn’t help but brag on me! I was so disappointed in myself and disgusted with the way I responded to an open opportunity to brag on the Lord. I let fear and self-doubt stop me from an important moment.
I always find it humorous and exciting to watch the Lord work and hear Him speak. Last week I chose to not release a new blog post, which essentially sent me spiraling into a deep hole of writer’s block. You see, I make it my mission to only write about the lessons God has laid on my heart, and I wasn’t sure of what He was revealing to me. I thought through multiple topics but wasn’t inspired by any until this evening happened, and I knew that I needed to write about fear. The problem was: I didn’t know how – until that same evening. During my nightly Bible reading, I came across Matthew 14 and the story of Jesus walking on water, and while I often breeze past familiar stories in order to “complete” my reading, this one stopped me, and it hit me hard.
Matthew 14: 22-33 tells of Jesus walking on the water amidst a storm in order to reach Peter. Peter’s faith in the Lord allows Him to walk with Jesus on those same waves and is a true definition of the Christian life and faith in the unknown. Give it a quick read below!
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[a] from the land,[b] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night[c] he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This story is often over-used for those who grew up in a Christian household. In fact, Jesus’ ability to walk on water is one of the most commonly known facts about Him. Therefore, reading just the passage’s title made me want to skim past this section of the chapter, yet I found myself reading these verses over and over in awe of how God was speaking to me, for so many think this passage is about Jesus and His ability to perform miracles, when I couldn’t help but see myself in Peter.
Peter wanted to walk to God and was given the ability to do so. He stepped onto the waves in the middle of a torrential storm and did the impossible because of Jesus until he began to fear what was around him. Immediately, he started sinking, and it wasn’t until he reached out for the hand of Jesus that he stood amongst the waves once again. Jesus’s response was simply, “why did you ever doubt me?” This past evening (and much of my life in general) followed this similar pattern. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am using my God-given talents and following His plan for my life by truly pursuing makeup artistry, yet despite this confidence and knowledge, I find myself doubting my abilities and fearing what others will think of me for not using my four-year degree. I fear that I’m being a selfish wife insisting that I chase my dreams rather than a stable job, and in each of these moments of self-doubt and fear, I begin to sink. I become overly critical of myself, and I keep myself from exciting opportunities, becoming overwhelmed and using it as an excuse for my lack of trying (example: not writing a blog post last week). Yet, in reality, I was never meant to look down or try and walk on the water by myself, because if I will keep my eyes directed on the path He has laid before me, He will guide me hand-in-hand toward the future He has planned for me.
What freedom this passage brings, as I am reminded not only of how in-control, but how He can truly equip me to do the seemingly impossible! If you’re struggling with fear of the future, fear of your current circumstances, fear for what or where God is calling you, or you’re just in a season of life that scares you, I encourage you to read this passage and be reminded that His loving hand is being held out, waiting for you to grasp it with all of your might. Leave your fear behind and walk toward Him as if you are a child taking your first steps into the arms of your father, refusing to look down upon the waves with each step you take.
(Photo: Blue and Blue Photography)