Stepping Into the Unknown With Fear and Trusting Jesus Will Never Abandon Us

One of my favorite places to visit as a child was Island Park in a small town in NW Iowa. I remember the challenge of crossing the river on stepping-stones at the bottom of a waterfall.

A couple of steps were missing and left wide gaps of uncertainty. As I sat on a step and reached my bare toes underneath the water, I could still feel the missing step’s slimy, slippery foundation. Dare I step forward?

Sometimes I didn’t dare. Other times I risked it, but I soon changed my mind when I nearly slipped into the rushing water. However, there were also times I did brave it and got to the other side of the river with a shout of victory.

Sometimes a flood drowns out Island Park. The river rages and obliterates all traces of any steps at all. When devastating storms in our lives churn up chaos in our hearts, the way forward can get blinded by fear. What if we take the wrong step? What if we fail? What if we get hurt again?

When Peter walked on the water towards Jesus, he stepped out in blind faith. His eyes were fixed on Jesus, and he gave no thought to missing stepping-stones. But then his heart looked away from Jesus, and all he saw were the winds whipping up the waves to a frenzy. His courage crashed. And he sank in fear… Save me, Lord! (Matthew 14:22-34)

Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued him. Even though he doubted. And He will do the same for us, even when we become faint of heart. Jesus never holds our lack of trust against us. He rescues us anyway.

Our lives are like taking small steps of faith, aren’t they? Small steps, not without fear, but in spite of fear. Sometimes one step forward and two steps back, but still forward.

We don’t know what lies ahead of us in this world. As we reach our toes ahead into uncertainty, our hearts may tremble with fear. Sometimes we slip and slide and fall wounded. Sometimes fear sinks us when we lose our focus on our only hope in Jesus. In panic, we cry out to God.

Again and again, Jesus will grasp our hand with His hand of powerful, unfailing love, pull us up again, and give us the strength to go on. He’s got us in His firm grip, and He’s not going to let us go.

“If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, ‘I’m slipping, I’m falling,’
Your love, GOD, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
You calmed me down and cheered me up.”
Psalm 94:17-19 MSG
“That’s right. Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.'”
Isaiah 41:13 MSG
“When struck by fear,
I let go, depending securely upon You alone.”
Psalm 56:3 VOICE

“I Am Not Alone”
by Kari Jobe

 

Remembering God’s Power

Godpower

“They did not remember His power
– the day He redeemed them from the oppressor.”

Psalm 78:42

The Israelites didn’t remember God’s power. The miraculous signs in Egypt, the wonders of the Red Sea and the Jordan River opening up for them, and so many other marvelous deliverances He got them through. They had a short memory span.

The disciples had this, too, when they were in a boat with Jesus. (Mark 4:35-41) A storm whipped up and raged, powerful waves washing over the boat. The boat was filling up, and it seemed they would be doomed to the sea. And where was Jesus? Asleep on a pillow.

They cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” They didn’t see how safe they were with Jesus in the boat. Did they not remember all the miraculous healing they saw Jesus perform, even the casting out of evil spirits? Couldn’t that same Jesus rescue them?

When Jesus got up, He rebuked the wind and waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Immediately they calmed.

Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were afraid before, and now they were still shocked and terrified. You mean even the winds and waves obey Him? They did not know Jesus well enough yet, they forgot how much His power was displayed in His miracles, and they underestimated that this power was available also for them.

Both the Israelites and then the disciples failed to remember God’s great mercies in the past.

A short memory span. I have that, too. I focus on the past and present storms in life and blind myself to see and remember all God’s past mercies towards me. So easily I forget God’s power shown to me in the past, His Almighty ability to rescue me from the deepest pit, His watchful care over every detail of my life.

I underestimate Jesus and His power for me, even though He’s given me proof of it again and again.

I forget about present displays of God’s power, too. Displays that should remind me how faithful and powerful He really is. In the cold winter months, when because of chronic illness, I can’t go out into nature, I miss all God’s creation. I tend to sometimes get downhearted. But as I sit here and look out the window, I see the sun’s power melting rooftops of snow even when it’s still below freezing. God faithfully sent that sun and the power behind it. When I see bunny tracks on the snow, I need to remember that it’s God who gave His creature a warm enough coat to survive the winter. When the snow comes down, I need to remember God’s special grace, how He has the power to wash me whiter than the snow. I need to remember that God’s power is displayed in His creation, including us, even when we don’t see it or remember it.

Isn’t God amazing? He just keeps on giving and giving and giving. Even when we don’t receive or give in return. When the Israelites turned their hearts back to Him and asked for His help, He again and again showered them with His long-suffering patience and powerful mercy and grace. When the disciples were afraid, He didn’t hold that against them, but He again showed love and mercy. And when I time after time doubt His power and faithfulness, He is so forgiving, loving, and caring.

I know it’s not always easy, especially when storms toss us to and fro and blindside our memory, but let’s try to help each other remember that the same power God showed in the past and faithfully displays each day of life on this earth certainly has the power to get us through whatever storms trouble our lives.

“Who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:5-7

Praying Jesus’ ever-faithful power
will fill our hearts and our lives
and give us courage to go on!

Signature

cutecolorsplantline1

Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

Jesus Will Carry Us

Jesus carries us

When we want to know Jesus more, when we long for Him to mold us more into His image, Satan works overtime to keep us away from Jesus. He craftily deceives us. He grasps our feet and pulls us away and downward into a deep, black hole where we can see no hope. Without the powerful love of Jesus, there is no way out.

Satan knows our vulnerable spots and uses them to his advantage. I was sexually abused by a minister decades ago, and I have dealt with it and worked through it, but sometimes emotional triggers still fling me back to that place where I felt like a puppet on strings with no voice – where my feelings or wishes didn’t matter. That place where my mind disconnected from my body so I wouldn’t feel. When triggers fling me into the past, shame and fear flood in and suck me down like quicksand. I desperately try to look up to Jesus and grab hold of His powerful hand, but it’s so hard sometimes to lift up my weary head and heart.

But again and again, God has been gracious to lift my heavy head and heart for me. During a conversation with my husband this morning, two truths captured my thoughts:

  1. Our past may mold our future, but it is God Who created us in His image and He molds us to be more like Him. So we couldn’t be in better hands.
  2. The pain we endure here on this earth is nothing compared to the glory we will one day experience.

While we wait for that glory, life here on earth won’t always be a picnic, but God has promised: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4) He made us. He will carry us. He will sustain us. He will rescue us. And all the powers of Satan and darkness will never prevail against God Who has all power in His hands.

ccheartline

Often inspirational music uplifts me and gives me hope. In his song – Carry Me – Josh Wilson sings, “Carry me, carry me, carry me now from my sinking sand to Your solid ground. The only way I’m ever gonna make it out is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now…”