"And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." 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?" —Matthew 14:25-31
I have often said that if I were one character from the Bible, it would be Peter. I can relate to that guy in so many ways. But today sort of blew my mind.
All the disciples were on a boat in the middle of a stormy sea. My personal stormy sea was my battle to chose to live according to the plans I had made for my life or to live out the plans that Jesus had made for my life. For the longest I was going to be a doctor and I was going to have this five-star education and I was going to be so smart and people were going to think highly of me. In my second semester of freshman year everything got shattered, and I no longer wanted to be that person. I submitted to Christ and His plans for my life and decided to minor in education in order to finish school more quickly so that I could join the mission field. I, like Peter, jumped out of the boat in order to come to Jesus despite the rough winds and waves that were my parents’ approval and the general scoffs of everyone who thought I had decided to teach because I couldn’t pass my premed classes. I had done well to keep my focus completely on Christ and to remember that He was my purpose and that teaching is His plan for me - until today…
I had my first education course this morning: Education Phycology. My school email had not been working in weeks, and during this time an email was circulated requesting that each student in the class get a background check ($42) and buy “teaching insurance” ($36). Why you ask? We’re going to teach in one of the worst high school’s in Nashville! This came as a total shock to me. I had no idea that this class was going to be service learning and I certainly did not realize that I was going to have to teach high schoolers whatever curriculum that would be assigned. I am barely out of high school! How on earth am I supposed to teach it? Then came the countless comments from the professor about how the kids wouldn’t want to learn or listen, that they might be incredibly disrespectful, and the warning not to bring laptops into the school so that they aren’t stolen. A previous student of the course came and talked to us about her experience. She said that she had one young man spit in her face and tell her that he hated her. After the shock of learning all that I was to deal with this semester, Dr. K also informed us that in addition to the $192 I had spent on her textbook, I would need to sign up for livetext.com in order to do my assignments - an extra $100. Best day ever right? ;) I, like Peter, was sinking rapidly. Like cement block status honestly.
After draining my tear ducts dry while on the phone with my precious mother, I talked to one of my dear friends. He told me what I really needed to do was stop everything I was doing and go spend time with Jesus. Which I did. And I read this:
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." —Ephesians 3:20-21
And just like that *snap* my focus is right where it’s supposed to be. Jesus grabs me from sinking into the stormy waters just like He did with Peter. My faith is little, but man… My God is huge! It is true that I mess up and I lose focus and I get frustrated as crap and I hit the wall and I panic and I sink, but He is able to do more with me and through me that I can even imagine. It says so right there! Take Peter for example… He flat out denied Jesus, and Jesus still told Peter to feed His sheep and Jesus still said that Peter would be the rock He would build His house on. I know that even though I momentarily lost my faith God still is going to use me though my experience at Pearl Cone.
Also I realized, IT’S NOT ABOUT ME! Anything that I do is only because of the power that He has put in me. That glory is His and His alone. The pressure is off because the light isn’t on me. It’s on Him. I don’t have to perform some amazing teaching act. I don’t have to make every single child totally understand everything there is to know about everything. I just have to let Jesus work through me. Be a light. Be love. I can be confident knowing that no matter what happens, God will get the glory and His Will will be done. In that I find peace :)
If this is ever not what you want, then I want you to tell me. Life is too short not to have what you want. I want you to be happy.
I believe O sovereign goodness, O mighty wisdom, that You do sweetly order and govern all things, even the most minute, even the most tiny, to Your glory and the good of those who love You. I believe, Father of the families of Heaven and earth, that You so control all events as most humbly ask you, teach me to adore all Your ways though I cannot comprehend them; teach me to be glad that You are king and to give You thanks for all things that befall me; seeing You have chosen that for me and have thereby ‘set to Your seal that they are good.’ And for that which is to come, give me Your grace to do in all things what pleases You and then, with an absolute submission by thy wisdom, to leave the issues of them in Your hands.