Do you ever have days, or strings of days, when it seems you can’t get your act together? I’ve had a couple of those days lately. It’s discouraging. It’s frustrating.
I’m not a devil-behind-every-rock kinda girl, but I do think there’s some spiritual warfare going on around our home. I think there has been for quite a while now. We’re in the midst of a huge life-change, a big step of obedience to follow God’s plan for our lives. And our adversary is not one bit happy about it. So things keep going wrong and we often feel like we’re trying to accomplish the tasks on our to-do list, but we find ourselves spinning our wheels. Like the disciples in Matthew chapter 14, we feel like we’re rowing against the wind. We know we’re in the middle of God’s plan for us. We’re obeying Him; still, we’re making no progress and we’re being tossed by the waves.
Today, I have been so discouraged. I’ve felt so useless and impotent. So, of course, I’ve been grumpy and short-tempered with my family. Finally, I just couldn’t stand myself any more, so I sat down with my Bible and a notepad. I felt a little like Jacob, determined not to let go until I received a blessing.
So I turned to Matthew 14 and the story I just mentioned about the disciples rowing against the wind. Jesus had told them specifically to get in the boat and go that direction. Jesus knew the wind would pick up. That storm didn’t catch Jesus by surprise. But the disciples were scared and frustrated and going nowhere fast. And then comes my favorite part of the story, the part that gave me a blessing today. Jesus walks out on the water toward them. It’s so dark and scary that they don’t recognize Him at first. They actually think He might be a ghost. But then He speaks. Don’t be afraid! Take courage, I am here!
Of course, there’s more to that story. But that’s where I stopped. As I look over my to-do list that seems to get longer and more complicated, and as I stand over the latest mess and newest problem to deal with, and as I row and row and row and get nowhere, I imagine Jesus confidently calling to me, Don’t be afraid! Take courage, I am here!
Then as I rest in the presence of my Savior, His Spirit whispers these reminders to me:
as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:5
Do not be afraid . . . Remember the Lord great and awesome — Nehemiah 4:14
The Lord your God who goes before you, He will fight for you . . . — Deuteronomy 1:30a
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail. — Luke 22:32a
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. — Psalm 118:6
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. — Hebrews 10:23
And like Jacob, I receive the blessing I came looking for. We are not in this battle alone. Though it appears we are making no progress, we are obeying. We are exactly where our Father has called us. And when He chooses, He will bring us safely to the destination. Until then, He comes walking on the water calling to us, Don’t be afraid! I am here!