LEAVING THE BOAT
Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:22-33; 16:24-27
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
The feeling of unrest was overwhelming. The more I ignored and pushed the nagging feeling of unrest to the back corners of my mind, the more I could feel the Lord unsettling my heart. In the wee hours of the night, when sleep provided no relief to my mental exhaustion, I cried out to God. Are You really asking me to give up everything? Leave everything that I know and love? Walk away from everything that I have strived for in my career? I laid there, throwing up questions to the ceiling like verbal darts. Surely, I had won. Surely, God would not ask me to leave. Lying there in the quietness waiting for a response, I began to feel God’s calming peace wash over my anxious heart. In the stillness of the night, I felt His reply – yes. Then, the burning questions I had been running away from for months began flooding my soul. What do all the earthly rewards and praises mean, if you have done nothing for My Kingdom? I have called you to more than this. What about Me? I felt like Job being questioned by God. I had no strong defense. There was no sound argument against the eternal calling God had placed on my life.
I knew what I must do.
However, knowing what you must do and doing it are two completely different things. When God calls you out of the boat and into the water, you must still take that step of faith. You must trade in the ‘what ifs’ for the promises of God.
As I stood there trying to explain to the group of leaders that had become family to me, that I was leaving education for the ministry, I could feel their eyes searching my face for glimmers of doubt. But as I stood there, verbalizing the plan God had for my life, I could feel my fears being traded in for faith. The weight of walking away from the career I had established was replaced with the blessing of obedience.
Although the journey of getting out of my boat was not easy, just like Peter, the moment I refocused my eyes on Jesus, the surrounding storm calmed, and His reassuring hand held me up above the waves of distractions. In those moments, when we are called out of our boats, out of our comfort zones, and to complete surrender, those are the moments we get to experience the fullness of God.
What is the boat that God is calling you to leave? Will you trust Jesus enough to jump out of the boat and into the water?