Pictured above: My cousins, (Zach and Maddie) and I attempting to surf with 3 people. Also pictured is what my face would look like if I saw Jesus walking on water.
I am sitting in a boat with a couple of friends, ya know just hanging out. The wind begins to pick up and begins to rock the boat. Then a man appears, he’s just chilling on top of the water, as if the water beneath his feet were as solid as a frozen pasture. I’ll tell ya one thing… I would be in full freak out mode if this story was legit.
Does this little anecdote remind y’all of anything? Well let me tell y’all where I derived this story from: Mathew 14: 29. This is when Jesus calls Peter out into the water and by “into the water” I do not mean for a casual game of marco polo. Nah, I mean Jesus is saying “Yo Pete just walk to me” like on the water. He does and he really is walking until he sees the wind pick up and he begins to fear (which is totally silly because just a couple verses before Jesus says “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”—Plus like Peter is walking to Jesus), but anyway Peter starts to sink until Jesus grabs him and places him safely into the boat. Jesus so kindly says “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Pictured above: Us when Jesus told us to walk on water and we begin to doubt
Keep this story in mind as I proceed with my blogging.
About a week ago I had just finished working through James and didn’t really know what part of the bible I was going to tackle next. Somehow I stumbled upon 1 Peter and boy was that a God thing. First Peter is written by Peter and he is talking about suffering. He talks about his own suffering, other people’s suffering and Jesus’ suffering. So far this sounds like a super uplifting and intriguing book of the bible right? (that’s sarcasm) Throughout this book Peter talks about the proper way to suffer.
“Syd, say what? The proper way to suffer? This sounds a little odd.” Yes my friend, the proper way to suffer. Let’s think about this…who has suffered an un-imaginable suffering? Jesus, right? Right. During 1 Peter, Peter is urging us to look how Jesus suffered and to suffer well, like Jesus did. Got the gist?
When I started reading 1 Peter I did something that I hadn’t really done before, I prayed before I dug into the text. I prayed that the Lord would give me the wisdom to understand the words. I prayed that the scripture would just come alive. Friends, God did exactly that. I read the words with power, excitement and passion. Just as the bible should be read. I dissected the text and understood more in those 5 chapters of 1 Peter than I ever had. Every time I opened my bible to read the words, they were jumping out at me! I was in awe of how I was receiving this wisdom from the Lord. However, he didn’t stop there. I attended church last Sunday and low and behold the preacher was working through 1 Peter. I had an immediate connection and began to get even more excited about this short book in the bible. But wait…God isn’t done.
Last night Caroline and I were eating at the dining hall when we ran into a friend and his roommate we hadn’t seen in awhile. Somehow we got on the topic of the Holy Spirit and they invited us over to watch this movie they had already planned on watching that evening. The movie was called Furious Love and it was a documentary about the spiritual war between good (God) v. evil (Satan) and how we can win it. Fun Fact: God has already won. The story is finished. God wins. I guess this isn’t a typical Friday night for college students, but we were pumped. The entire film was incredible, but one part particularly stuck out to me. There was a teenage girl telling the film crew how these people came into her village and slaughtered people. They burned down her people’s homes and churches, and ripped families apart. The daughter was questioned her mother, “Why is this happening? Why is God doing this to us?” and her mother’s response was: 1 Peter 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Pictured above: Us when our doubt got the best of us and we began to sink.
This part struck me because…just come on people…just wow. This village was slaughtered for being Christ followers, but yet this woman basically says that it was a blessing to suffer for God.
I took these words and looked inwardly and said, “what am I doing?” This woman has faith that is much bigger than a mustard seed in order to sit in a village flooded with blood to say, “what a blessing!” I don’t know about you friend but as soon as a little “suffering” comes my way my faith begins to take the hit. When suffering comes my way I begin to sink into the water just like Peter did. But my goodness if this woman can praise his name after truly suffering then I must pray to suffer well. I must not ask God, “why?” but I must tell God, “thank you.” The great I AM did not grant me that suffering for any other reason than his Goodness.
I titled this blog, “Am I walking on water?” because I think that is a great question to ask myself when I start to let doubt seep into my soul. This phrase basically asks, Do I have my faith in God right now or am I beginning to fear, am I taking my eyes off Jesus and onto the world? If I am walking on water then my eyes are fully focused on Jesus. If my eyes are fully focused on Jesus there is no shot the devil can wiggle in and alter my faith.
Pictured above: How locked my eyes should be on Jesus during my walk on water with him.
So I ask you two things:
How are you suffering?
Are you walking on water?
Amigos, these are not one time only questions…these questions should be asked and answered everyday.
Also in case you were wondering about that movie Furious love and their journey to find the answer to winning over evil, this is how you win: by showing God’s love. Not our own love for our own love fails daily but God’s love is constant. His love is the only way we will conquer evil.