Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stepping from the Boat

This week finds me in a place I have been in before, a place where as in times before in my 51 years I am faced with a burden of needing to decide how I will move forward in my life. And, there is certainly no less pressure on me now than in previous years. I am sure, were I single and bore little responsibility in this world, my decisions for 2015 would be far easier than they are now. In reality, I don’t have the luxury of being selfish. I have a family, a wife and daughter who need me to be strong and courageous, whether I feel that way or not.

You see, I just heard a very bright, successful, and godly young man speak yesterday. And what this young man said brought into sharper focus for me that there are two fundamental types of people in this world. There are those who get beat up by life and cannot get past thinking, speaking, or living as a victim. Conversely there are those who get beat up by this life as well, and instead of wallowing in the mire of self-pity, they make a conscious decision to step out of the boat and into the stormy waves to make their way to Jesus’ arms.

For you see, it becomes increasingly clear to me that none of us walks through this life without eventually bearing the scars of our story. For each of us the experiences are different and our perspectives are individual and unique. None of us can truly say that they know “exactly” what the other has gone or is going through. But, we have this savior, this redeemer that calls us out from our fears, from our self-preservation, and from our loneliness to live in the courage and the bravery that only our complete and total trust in him can bring.

In order to truly live, our fearful selves, our inner victim, our selfish hearts.. well, they must die.

Crucified daily, our hearts must be given over to Christ in absolute trust and faithful belief.

There is no other way for us to have victory over the people, the circumstances, or the fear that holds us in helpless bondage short of stepping out of the boat.

And, so I ask you: Has Christ been calling you out from your boat? Can you close your earthly eyes and see him with the eyes of faith? Can you make out his outstretched arms, his gentle gaze, and his smiling face as he stands waiting for you to stop grasping tightly to your fears? Can you imagine the weight of the chains of fear being lifted from your shoulders? What would your life be like if you just gave up and truly trusted Jesus to fill in the blanks that you feel inadequate to fill in?

I am committing to seeking Jesus’ help daily to set aside my fears and to step out more in faith to help others and to become the leader that my family and co-workers need me to be.

What will you do? What will you commit to? Are you satisfied and content to huddle in the boat, to go below and sleep while the storm rages outside? Or, will you step out of the boat in faith and truly trust that Jesus will never leave or forsake you, that he will not let you sink beneath the waves of your troubles.

The prayer that goes out with this blog post is that each of you who reads this will truly trust God in 2015. I pray that you will give up the fight and lean on Jesus’ strong shoulders and let him bear your burdens.

Let’s agree to trust him from now on. Let’s agree to not handle this thing called life on our own and to let him accomplish in us all the many plans he has for our lives.

Live radically. Live honestly. And pour your life out to serve others!

In Christ,