I remember when my oldest was around 8 years old. She wanted so badly to master the monkey bars. She would watch other children at our neighborhood park quickly go across, but for her the biggest hurdle was launching herself to the first bar. I remember sitting on one of the park benches and cheering her on.
“You got this! I know you can do it!” I yelled. She just stood there, paralyzed in fear, her face unchanging until I came closer. “Would you like me to stand right here at the next bar? I promise to catch you if you don’t make it.”
With a renewed sense of confidence, she launched her little body into the air to that first bar.
“Keep going!” I yelled, as she dropped to the ground excited. For the next 20 minutes, she made that leap over and over again, confident that I would help her, going beyond that first bar to conquering several bars in a row.
As an adult, I can see that there have been several “monkey bar” moments in my life when the Lord has asked me to “launch” myself into a mission that He has for me. It is always an act of faith filled with many unknowns and challenges. However, it is our movement toward this mission, and our willingness to accept the plan that God has for us, that will be the catalyst that will propel us.
My “yes” to becoming a contributor to this women’s ministry, Little with Great Love, was one such “leap” that has been such a great journey. I joined, unsure of what this ministry would require, who I was journeying alongside, or what my real role was going to be. I trusted that God was going to bless my willingness to be open to his working through me to serve others.
The Lord always reassures us. He is always willing to meet us in our struggles and our inadequacies if we trust Him.
Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water”.
“Come,” he said.Matthew 14:27-29
In this scripture from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is calling Peter out to Him as He walks on water. Peter is not challenging the Lord, but demonstrating his faith and trust in who Jesus is. The initial act of faith is quickly replaced by the movement into action. The Lord is asking Peter not only to believe what he is seeing but to come to Him.
It is the movement of our heart into action. Love in action is the mission on our heart. The Lord desires us to act on His message of love.
I remember reading this Scripture, and struggling with the fact that Jesus did not come and take Peter’s hand and guide him into the water. Didn’t the Lord realize that Peter was scared? However, I didn’t come grab my daughter, place her hand on the monkey bars, and guide her. I wanted her to trust herself. I wanted her to learn to take risks for things that were important to her. She needed to learn that we must push ourselves to accomplish things in our life. We have to have faith. Jesus was asking Peter to make the first movement toward him. He was asking for Peter’s fiat, his willingness to say yes to what Jesus was asking of him. Our fiat is the physical and spiritual movement of the soul to align with God’s plan.
God gives us many “lampposts’ and “billboard signs” along the way to confirm, through the Holy Spirit, that we are on the right path. He honors our faithfulness along the way, blessing our willingness to trust Him with the plan for our lives. Like a good Father, He blesses the work of our hands and looks to strengthen us through virtues.
God calls us out into the water. He wants more for us in this life. The safety of the current boat we are in is no match to the water that He wishes to have us walk on. You have to trust that the God who created you, knows the desires of your heart.
Let’s trust… and take the first step.
Unsure… and yet unwavering in our faith.