In my experience, life doesn’t warn us when we’re about to be thrown a curve ball. Sometimes, we find ourselves basking in the light of day, enjoying the warm embrace of good fortune when things suddenly go awry. But fear not, because if you’ve befriended this really cool guy names Jesus, he often knows just the thing to get us through tough times.
As Christians, we are called to be on our toes. When I played soccer in high school, my coach would always get on to me about putting my weight on my heels. If I wasn’t on my toes, then I wasn’t ready to receive the ball when it was passed to me. And if I couldn’t receive the ball, then I couldn’t, in theory, score the goal. The same is with life. If we sit back on our heels, we won’t be ready for our next big move. We won’t be ready to score the goal.
Let me pause for a minute here and clarify my seemingly pessimistic message. I don’t mean, “Always anticipate bad things to happen.” In fact, I mean just the opposite. We should enjoy the little blessings of life that come with routine and normality, but be in excited anticipation of the bigger and better “job offerings” God hands us. With that being said, changes in our lives don’t always seem bad, necessarily, just for lack of a better word, scary. If we sit around in our metaphorical cubicle job doing the same thing each and every day, we can easily become stagnant in our faith and in our contribution to the mission of Christ.
Instead, we should leap at every opportunity to share God’s faith and love others. Often when the last thing we want to do is jump, that’s likely exactly when we should. Stepping out in faith can be terrifying. It can shake you at your wits and can show every sign that you should turn back, but if living out our faith was easy, we’d probably be more likely to forget about the not so easy things Jesus did for us.
Through uncertainty we build faithful endurance. Through hardship we cultivate character. If we look at life’s largest opportunities as daunting and too far out of our comfort zone, we will be swallowed by complacency and we’ll never allow our mustard seed faith to grow.
In Matthew 14, some of Jesus’ friends were out on a boat, trapped in the midst of a huge storm. When Jesus walked out on the water to go meet them, a miracle in and of itself, they were terrified and yet entranced all at the same time. When Peter saw Jesus, he said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” When Jesus said so, Peter jumped right out of the boat and joined him in the raging waters of uncertainty. You see, the important thing to notice here is that Peter was just as scared as the rest of his friends. They were practically drowning in the Sea of Galilee and then suddenly they think they see a ghost. I’d be scared too! But the difference between Peter and the rest of his friends, the rest of most of us, is simply this: despite all Peter’s fear, he still stepped out of the boat to be with Jesus.
I encourage you to do the same.