“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.'” Matt. 14:28-33
“Hey Lord, if You’re in this we want to do it.” We felt Him calling, “Come.” So a year ago we took our first steps out to walk with Him in a new place. In just a few days we’ll be taking another step, into an airplane and onto foreign soil.
It’s so easy to worry. And it’s almost automatic to get a little frantic as I look around at this pile of suitcases and things to be sorted, the papers to be filed and the countdown of days ticked off on my calendar. Things take longer than I think they ought to. The to-do list running constantly through the back of my brain threatens any concentration I may have left. Quite honestly, this makes me quite an irritable person. I seem to be constantly rushing, overwhelmed by life. Maybe you’ve felt this way, too.
And then there’s the nagging fear. I shove it out of the way, too busy to dwell on the uncertainties that lie ahead in a new country. But every once in a while these thought bursts through, “What if your kids aren’t safe? What if you can’t learn the language? What if you’re homesick and can’t make it? What if you fail in ministry because people see you lose your temper? What if, what if…?”
It drops me. “Lord, save me I’m drowning!!” His hand is there. His words, “I am with you always.” Climbing out of the waves, I step into the life raft of His Word. He whispers to my soul, “My perfect love casts out fear. Don’t be afraid, don’t doubt. Have faith. I have called you, you are Mine.”
The wind stops. The worry and fear go calm in His presence. And the only response I can give is worship. It’s ok to be overwhelmed, but you’ve got to choose what you’ll be overwhelmed by…or rather Whom.
When I stop to look at Who my God is I am overwhelmed by Him. He is good, kind, unfailing, gracious and loving. And He is here with me. He gives me strength for today in the packing and tomorrow in the fears and next month in a new country away from those I love. He is ahead and behind making the way. And His hand is here to hold me through each day. We can walk on the waves of whatever He calls us to by faith. Let’s pray that we will keep our eyes off of the storm and on our precious Savior.
Debby Chapman is just days away from leaving Florida with her husband, Brett, and daughters, Chloe & Liliana, for Nicaragua. They have stepped out in faith to where they believe God has called them to minister. We praise God for His leading and guiding and giving the Chapmans sensitive hearts to His will. Please keep them in your prayers as they move to Nicaragua. There are many new adventures and transitions ahead of them including learning a new language, making new friends, moving into a new home, learning about and adjusting to a new culture, and establishing a ministry. And “thank you” to Debby who has opened up her heart to share with us in this post. You are a blessing!