Thursday, February 3, 2011

Week 2 - Trust, Not Clarity

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Matthew 14:22-32, NLT

A story is told of a man who, in trying to discern a new direction for his life, went to work for several months with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He thought that being apart from his life and devoting time to something entirely different might help him with his deep questions and doubts about where his life should take him next.
After weeks of serving the sick and dying, the day came when this man finally met Mother Teresa, as he had been hoping to do all along. She asked him how she could pray for him. He replied, “Mother, pray that I will have clarity on what it is God wants me to do with my life,” and then he began sharing about his complex questions and concerns for what lay ahead.
Mother Teresa waited for him to stop talking and then replied, “No, I will not pray for that. I will not pray for you to have clarity. I will pray that you will trust God. I have served Him for many years, and I have never had clarity, but I have trusted Him. That is what you must do.”
In her own way, this simple woman had come to know the art of walking on water with God. She learned that clarity never saved a life; trust is what is needed.  Peter learned this as he began to sink within Jesus’ reach. As we all live within the reach of Jesus, we must learn this as well.
The Real Question: Do I insist on fully understanding God before I can trust Him?
Family Talk:  What questions do you have about God?  Remind your kids that questions and doubts are not bad, they are normal and a part of growing as a person. 
ONE in Prayer: God, help me to let go of my need to understand before I put my trust in you. Help me to remember that I live within your reach. Amen.

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