When You Feel Upside Down

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night 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 on the water.”

Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 

He told us to come and we followed.

I am sure many thought us to be fools – walking away from a great paying job that my husband enjoyed, selling a large beautiful home in a family friendly neighborhood, leaving a spiritually rich and biblically sound home church, saying goodbye to godly supportive friends and families that were fairly close by… stepping away from our support system, out of our comfort zone, to follow His call to go.   No, we didn’t sell all we own and move to the other side of the world.  We actually kept most of our belongings and just traveled across several state lines!  It took God preparing our hearts to hear Him and to respond, even in this tiny step of faith to serve in a support role to advance Bible translation with the goal of the Scriptures going forth.  He encouraged us through His Word, His people, and His Spirit, granting us peace every step of the way to get us here.  And I am so thankful for His gentle guiding hand leading up to our departure.

Now, it’s been six months.

Six months since we sold our home, packed up our belongings, said goodbyes, and drove away.

It’s been six months, half a year.

Half a year of being in transition, church searching, living somewhere ‘temporarily’, and seeing so many families come and go from the center where we are assigned.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

I would be lying to say that it has been easy, just moving within the states to do His will.  And, I would be untruthful if I said that I haven’t doubted on occasion why we are here (for we haven’t been here long enough to see any effect) or that, at times, I have wanted to quit and go running back.  I grieve all we left behind – the relationships, the teaching and wise counsel, the familiarity of our hometown, and simply knowing my place and how I fit in within my community.  I’m someone who dislikes change and unknowns, but who thrives with clear expectations, timetables, and a plan in hand. 

BUT, everything seems to have been flipped
and turned upside down for the past six months.  fragile 

While hanging here, struggling upside down, I’ve somehow forgotten that …

it is God who calls us,
God who equips us,
God who hears us,
God who is here among us,
and God the One in whose sole strength I can trust

While feeling upside down, I have to remember.

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My soul clings to Him and I remember that it is His right hand that upholds me and grips mine tightly. I can, and must, continue to depend upon Him and count Him faithful every step of the way – even when it is hard – amidst the grieving of relationships, the uncertainty of how I fit in and can be used of Him here, and of the feeling that I have somehow already failed for not adjusting as well or as quickly as I had hoped.  In this foggy period of transition and change, I know and have confidence that God is still at work.  I can only see the jumbled back side of the tapestry that He is weaving, but I rely upon the Master’s skillful, gentle hand to make something beautiful in His time, for His glory. 

trust

*Scripture taken from Matthew 14:22-32 NIV, 1984 (emphasis added). 
Artwork by my precious daughter from her sermon notes.

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