When we get out of bed. When we walk into work. On the phone with our mom. Facing that friend. Going to church. Life isn’t easy.
Lately for me, I’ve needed deep courage in ballet class. Leotards and tights. Buns and ballet slippers. What was once an excitement and highlight of my week, I now feel exposed and out of place. Looking at myself in the mirror, I can’t help but notice how my legs are larger than the girls beside me at the barre. Or how my feet don’t point as much as theirs. Or how my shoulders are wider. Fears that I’m not good enough, or too much, ring through my head. I need deep courage to persevere and focus on being healthy and working towards building a strong body. What do you need deep courage for?
Often when we look at our surroundings, circumstances or fears can hold us back and whisper lies into our ears that we can’t do it.
I think Peter felt that way in Matthew 14:22-33. Exhausted from ministry, running from overwhelming crowds, Jesus’ disciples entered a boat to cross the lake while Jesus needed time in solitude on the mountain to pray. In the boat, the waves crashed and the storm blew fiercely. In the deep night, the disciples looked and saw Jesus walking towards them on the water – completely unfazed by the crazy weather going on around them. In the midst of what seemed like pure chaos, Jesus was calm and in control.
Jesus called out to them, seeing their fear and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” In the midst of the storms of life, Jesus calls out to us, affirming us of who he is, and tells us to not fear. Peter needed some assurance, so Jesus called him to join him on the water. Walking on the water. What seems like an impossibility, is easy for Jesus. Come, said Jesus and Peter went. Eyes fixed on his Saviour, Peter walked with deep courage towards Jesus on the water.
With deep courage in who Jesus was in the midst of the waves in the storm, Peter was able to walk on the water. In the chaos of my life and circumstances, I can walk with deep courage towards Jesus with confidence in who he is and that he’s calling me.
When I enter that ballet studio, I know that even though my fears and insecurities are there – they aren’t controlling me. I’m grounded with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I can walk on the water because my faith is keeping me up. I don’t need to succumb to the lies that I’m too much or not enough. I simply walk on, knowing that my identity and value is more than how big my thighs are, or in how small my waist is.
Deep courage is possible for you too.
We discover deep courage to carry on when we’re secure in who Jesus is and his presence in our chaos. As soon as Peter doubted Jesus on the water he began to sink. But Jesus was there to catch him. When we doubt Jesus in our lives, we too start to sink in the fear and lies in our own minds. And too, Jesus is there to catch us again. All we need to do is call out, “Lord, save me.”
So today, fix your eyes on Jesus. See how he is a rock in your waves. Stable. Unchanging. Secure. We can depend on him when all else fails – because he cannot even fail himself. And when you stumble and start to fall again, just call out to him. He’ll always be there to catch you.