“What does it mean to walk by faith? It means to obey God’s Word in spite of the feelings within us, the circumstances around us, and the consequences before us.” – Warren Wiersbe
The heat of the day was fading as the sun began to set. She grabbed my hand and looked up with her deep brown eyes to initiate the sweetest invitation.
“Will you please go on a bike ride with me?”
She’s the youngest of four and normally it would have already been past her bedtime, but Summer has a way of softening strict schedules and resistant mama hearts. Plus, the only way she was going to overcome her bike-riding fears after her last ugly wipe-out was to chin-up, helmet-up, and get back on that bike.
She sits up confidently and looks straight ahead on the smooth and wide-open roads. Her favorite place to ride is an abandoned parking lot, where the risks of distraction and confinement are eliminated. The lot might be lonelier and less exhilarating than where we live, but it’s safe. With the knowledge that her foundation is sure, her posture is at peace and she takes in the beauty around her…
“The purple flowers in Summer are my favorite.”
“Mom, God makes the most beautiful sunsets.”
“Can we ride a little longer?”
It’s the bumpy, narrow, and uphill climbs on our street that get to her, so I tell her to follow my lead. We live here so we must learn here. If she’ll look up and trust my navigation, I have her best interest in mind and will lead her through the potholes and around oncoming traffic. If she’ll follow my lead, she’ll find so much freedom, beauty, and joy right where she’s planted.
But often, she doubts.
On our last ride she had allowed fear to creep in. Her body slouched as her eyes drifted away from me and onto the obstacles around her. As she looked down at all that could go wrong, her confidence plummeted. Within a matter of seconds she panicked, went her own way, turned too sharply, and found herself pinned to the ground by a scratched up glittery pink frame.
O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
These were the Lord’s words to Peter, and I can hear Him saying them to me.
Jesus had just miraculously fed the 5,000…
I stand confidently and full of faith when life’s roads are smooth sailing and when Jesus’s wonder-working power is displayed front and center. I’m filled up with God-confidence, I know my Savior is near, and I look forward to my comfortable place inside “the boat.” Sure, it might be a little far removed and less exhilarating here, but it has the initial appearance of safe. And Lord knows I like safe.
All is well until the winds of life begin to pick up.
It’s the uphill climb that gets me, so Jesus gently instructs me to follow His lead. He has me here for a purpose, so I must trust Him as I live here and learn here. If I’ll look up and follow His navigation, I’ll see that He has my best interest in mind and that His path will always lead me for my good and His glory.
But as the storm intensifies and the waves beat hard against me, I’m tempted to let fear creep in. My eyes drift off of Jesus and onto the obstacles that surround me. As I look at all that could go wrong, doubt wells up within me. Without a moment-by-moment surrender to His lead, I’ll turn my own way and find myself afraid, off course, and sinking… pinned down by my ugly attempt at self-sufficiency and the weight of the world around me.
And I’ll miss the beauty of who God is and all He has for me in the valley.
When your faith is little, look up! The God of the mountaintop is still the same God in the valley.
Don’t you love how in the book of Matthew it says that Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of Peter when he was sinking? Girl, He’s got you. We have a Savior who is our ever present help in trouble, and He’s ready and longing for us to cry out to Him, “Lord, save me!” If in the midst of the storm you’ve taken your eyes off of Jesus, you need to hear that it’s not too late. You can start walking by faith again today. Together let’s chin-up, armor-up, and by the grace of God get right back to where He’s calling us.
With the knowledge that her Foundation is sure, her posture is at peace and she takes in the beauty around her…
“God, in every change and season You are faithful.”
“Jesus, You create the most incredible beauty out of ashes.”
“Spirit, I’ll go where you lead me and stay for as long as you tell me.”
And when they got into the boat the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:32-33
When your faith is little, look up! The Son of God is in your midst…
At His feet,
Let’s talk: What doubt do you need to surrender to God as you begin to walk in faith today?
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