"Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.'
'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you in the water.'
'Come,' He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beggining to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truely you are the Son of God.'"
Challeneges are for overcoming.
If you read my ABOUT ME page, you know that I am a Christ follower. So for me, facing challenges is something I rely on God for. I know that I cannot do it by myself. I don't have it in me. I'd rather take the easy road around the challenge than take a sledge hammer to it and knock the challenge down. I would opt to stay in the boat. But Jesus tells me something different. He calls us and when we forget to rely on Him and begin sinking from fear, he extends His hand and together, we walk to the boat.
"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13
Recently, I have been faced with many challenges. Through prayer and communion with the Lord, He showed me that I was supposed to quit my job. Not only that, but quit without lining up another job; and he was going to provide me with an opportunity once I was job-free. I was very skeptical, but He was unrelenting with this for months. I kept praying about it, I sought out my spiritual mentors and talked about it, and in the end, even from the beggining (although I wouldn't admit it at the time), I knew I had to do it.
It was NOT easy. I was a terrified, nervous wreck. I really liked my job and the people I worked with. I didn't WANT to leave my job. I didn't want to leave the boat. I wanted to be with Jesus, but I didn't want to leave the boat. I wanted to be obedient and trust God, but every other part of me was wanting to run the other way. My flesh wanted to go around the challenge I was given. But Jesus gave me a sledge hammer and together, we knocked down the challenge. He called me, I put one foot out of the boat, hesitated, put the other foot out, and ran.
A lot of people around me were warning me against this decision. Saying things like "It's not financially smart.", "You aren't being responsible", etc. And they were right, in terms of how this world views those things. But they weren't looking at it through the lens of faith and grace. The lens I'm looking through, however foggy it can sometimes be, was telling me that being obedient to God and seeking and following Him is more important then money or anything else will ever be. The lens of faith says that everything will be more than ok when you get out of the boat. The lens of grace says, if you start sinking, Jesus will take your hand and save you, even though you don't deserve it.
So I quit, well, I gave my two weeks. I was provided an opportunity that I took. It didn't really lead to anything, but it did show me that the outcome doesn't always matter. What truely matters is that you took action. That you were obedient. That you trusted God wholely. Living by faith isn't easy. It's a daily battle against your flesh for the salvation of your soul. In the process you grow closer to the Lord. Your relationship goes to the next level. Something I wouldn't trade for the world. It is by the grace of God that I can call Him my father, friend, lover, savior, encourager, and joy. EVERY DAY I fail, and I give those failings to the Lord and He says, "I have forgiven you. I love you. Come to me."
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
Living, truely LIVING, by FAITH isn't easy. But it is worth it.