Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trusting . . . Even When the Way Isn't Clear

I'm one of those people who likes to know how it's going to turn out before it happens. I want to have a guaranteed outcome before I begin.

But, life rarely allows for that.

Often, we have to begin before we have any idea of what it's going to turn out like. We have to step out only knowing what direction to step in, not even always knowing whether we'll be putting our foot down on firm ground with that step.

The clearest example of this I can think of, it the well-known story of Peter walking on water, found in Matthew 14:22-33.

The disciples were out on the water in a boat. They were struggling to keep going as they fought a storm. Then they see someone coming toward them, walking on the water. They're understandably afraid. Jesus reassures them it's Him, and they don't need to be afraid. Peter responds with a request to walk on water too if it's really Jesus. Jesus tells him to come.

It would be easy to keep on running to the end of this familiar story right now. But, stop for a moment. Put yourself in Peter's shoes.

You impulsively declared that if it was really Jesus walking on the water, you wanted to walk to Him on the water. He told you to come.

How do you respond? Do you just as quickly jump over the side of the boat? Or are you more cautious now? Did you really expect He would tell you to come? Do you really believer you'll be able to walk on water?

Peter gets down out of the boat. He's walking on the water. When he put his foot down to the water, he didn't know how firm where he was putting his foot would be until he took the step of faith.

The same was true of every step he took on the water. Each one was a step of faith. And, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, each step on unstable ground was sure. The steps were no longer sure when he took his eyes off Jesus.

Often, we find ourselves in similar situations. Jesus is calling us to come, but we can't know for sure what each step of that journey will be like. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus and take the first step, then the second, the third, and each one after that. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we'll be able to stand on sure ground, no matter what it actually is.

If we take our eyes off Jesus, we'll be on unstable ground, and we can fall. Jesus calls us to keep our eyes on Him and trust Him with each step - even when we don't know the outcome.

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