As I am sitting in my living room making lists and thinking of all that needs to get done in the next few weeks-- some before my upcoming surgery (trampoline parks are no joke, people)-- it's easy for me to get overwhelmed. Turn paper work in, call doctor back for the 4th time this week, make sub plans, deep clean my apt so it'll be nice when I come back home, make my design for Africa and get in contact with my shirt guy, pay all my bills, etc. etc. etc. I was told today by someone "You are ALWAYS doing something... like, you never stop!" I laughed because it was true.... but then I thought about why I do this. I like control. I need it. I don't like asking others to help me because I feel I should be able to do this on my own. I almost get offended when people say "let me help you" or try and take something from me. In the past week I have had really hard convos with myself about things I hold onto so deeply. They were as little as not wanting to give up my math planning for my team while I am out recuperating from surgery.... or having a death grip on my money because this is a really tight season financially... to not wanting to be vulnerable with people because I am terrified of getting used or hurt-- again.
This week-- really month-- okay so like this past school year so far... has been really hard. Just a difficult season that seems to hurt and be filled with stressful days, lonely times, painful situations, scary circumstances, and quiet in the middle of the swirling waters around me. But as I begin to doubt I hear, "Come." (Matt. 14:29) Jesus is beckoning me out of the boat like He did to Peter. And man, am I like Peter. I start going to Jesus and things are great... and I am trusting... "look at me, walking towards Jesus in the middle of this hard time". Then I get distracted by the wind... and I notice the water rising up... and there I go, I start to sink. Fast. And I panic. But here is the difference between Peter and me-- it says that when Peter noticed he was beginning to sink that he called out "Lord, save me." I don't do this. I flail and doggy paddle and grasp for things that are not firmly planted. I attempt to reach for the things that are not solid. THEN I go to Jesus. That has been super convicting lately.
I don't trust. I am faithless. I look like I usually have my junk together but it is all a facade. The humbling thing about Jesus is what follows Peter's cries in Matthew 14. It says "Jesus IMMEDIATELY reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?' This cuts me deeply. When I read this passage I hear a sadness in His voice. Not because He was mad at Peter, or frustrated He didn't realize the power that was before him. But, I think, because He genuinely loved Peter so much-- and He wanted Peter to recognize His love/affection/desire for him-- and was saddened he couldn't see and be satisfied by that. Man... the Lord loves us all so much and desires us to recognize how big that really is. It's not a conditional love. It's not a temporal love. It's not a misleading lust that looks like love. It's a love that can never be added to or diminished by ANY circumstance or situation. And the beautiful thing is-- that Jesus will respond to me THE EXACT SAME WAY as He did to Peter even though I took the detour before calling out to Him and asking for Him to save me. His response isn't sarcastic, or prideful, or bitter... He will IMMEDIATELY reach out and grab me and say "O, Stephanie... you of little faith. Why do you doubt me?" Our Beloved loves us so richly. May our hearts be captivated by His beautiful pursual of us and may we not, as believers, be distracted or seduced by lesser lovers.