Step Into Fear and Swing
One of my favorite guys in the Bible–after Job and Paul, of course–is Simon Peter. Maybe it’s silly to find Peter likable, but what I like about Peter is that he’s so darn fallible. He has the full range of emotions, from fear to courage but never quite sure what to be at any particular time. Like a leaf blown about by the wind, it’s clear that his emotions get the better of him. He strikes me as a man of passion, aware of his fallacies and yet emboldened by the Christ to be better, better than he could imagine for himself.
If I believe in this guy, if I’m going to be true to who I am, then, dammit, I’m going to act on it. I’m not going to sit here, huddled in fear with everyone else. Command me, Jesus, and I know that I can do it…for if the Living God wills it, how could it NOT happen?
Source: Matthew 14:22-31, Bible
Often, I wish for the black-n-white of a mandate. It’s great when the boss walks in and says, “Do this just like this and take whatever steps need to be taken, irregardless of cost, time, or staff.” But, as you go up the hierarchy of authority, you realize you have less power to wield that authority, and everything is in shades of grey except your integrity.
It’s at these times that I have to come back to Peter, huddling in the boat as the storm rages, and Jesus walks upon the waves. I imagine that Peter didn’t run from his fear all the time. When God was there, commanding him, he stepped into Fear like a boxer, raised his fist and struck back for the rest of us. It’s at these times when the sky is overcast, and everything seems to have a grey tinge, that I remember that if Peter, a simple, weak man who denied Christ 3 times when Jesus needed him most, who displayed less loyalty than a dog…if he can find the courage in God’s Word Made Flesh, then I can certainly find courage as well.
Dammit, I’m not going to sit here, huddled in fear with everyone else. How many people, who had the chance, stood up and overcame their fears to survive 9/11? And, even if death crushed them, at least, they died commanded by the Living God. And…really, what else can a person ask for?
I agree with you Miguel, that we are called out to NOT live in fear as Christians. There is a lot to be afraid about– but when you think about history and people’s places in it, there have always been lots of reasons to be afraid. I was thinking about this particularly this week with the 9-11 anniversary. During the Cold War lots of people were afraid. During World War II lots were afraid. You are right to turn to scripture for inspiration. It amazes me too that so many of the disciples showed such humanity and weakness– even when they actually knew Jesus in the flesh and were personally mentored by him on earth for years! I also struggle to not leave in fear: of debt, of the unknown, and the forces of darkness which at times seem to be SO STRONG in this world.
Those are the times we need reminders like yours. We must reject fear and choose instead to live in joy– Joy which is a gift from God, and ours to accept and live in. Jesus said his yoke is light, yet too often I try to take on a heavy yoke and not hand off my burdens to him. I think the encouragements from this blog to me personally are reminders of how I DAILY need to not only take up the cross of Christ– but also lay the burdens and FEARS which I am tempted to bring with me into the challenges and opportunities of the day at Jesus’ feet. Easier said than done. That’s why I need lots of reminding! 🙂