Monday, July 06, 2009

First Step of Faith

Today’s Reading: Acts 3:16 (NIV)

16[Peter said], By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

Good morning!

As I stood on the fishing pier looking out over Lake Ontario, I remembered how my Savior walked across the Galilean lake, calling Peter’s name. I imagined what it might be like to step out into the deep cold water, with nothing but the name of Jesus resonating in my mouth and His face ever before me, and take a walk toward Him without fear of drowning. It is no wonder that the Lord could use Peter to speak His Word with such conviction and authority. Peter knew what it was like to walk on water when the Lord called his name. Peter knew Jesus would be there to catch him if he fell. This is the first step of faith.

When the morning storm clouds gathered over the bay, small rip tides made their way toward the beach, pitching and clapping in rhythmic motion along the shoreline. Gulls perched along the water’s edge, watched the miracle unfold. I stood barefooted in the sand, feeling the fresh spray from the lake water cleanse and wash away the dirt in my life. Just like the troubles that rise up in our daily walk, the lake waves came crashing hard against the shore line. I was caught up in the force of the water beating the sand back; the centrifugal force was a daunting thing to experience. All the while, I could hear God’s voice calling out in the sound of the wind and water. “Come to me, for I am here. I am everything you need. Come.”

In the cool mist of the lake spray, I heard the voice of my Savior urging me to follow Him out into a deeper faith. It is easy to stand your ground when your feet are firmly planted in the sands of the shore; yet, Christ calls each of us to wade out into the deep water, where we can no longer stand on our own. He wants us to let go of the sin of self-sufficiency that keep holding us back and just trust Him enough, knowing that He is there to carry us back to shore, even in the raging storms of our life journey.

I looked back at the light house nestled atop a small hill not far away, where the light was shining brightly through the morning fog and clouds. I listened for the fog horn beckoning the sail boats floating out there in the blue deep. When you are out there, all alone, with nothing to hold onto except the name of Jesus and the faith He plants inside your heart, there is great comfort in focusing on the sound of the horn and the light shining ahead. I found great comfort focusing on Christ in the water. When Peter stepped out of his fishing boat, the place where he was most comfortable, and began walking toward Jesus by faith, it was only Christ’s light and the sound of His voice that mattered most. Regardless of how rocky the waves or deep the water, His presence in the midst of the storm is all the healing Peter needed to take that first step of faith.

It was the same faith that helped the crippled man walk for the first time in his life, and it is that very same faith that helps us launch out into the deep water today. Only the name of Jesus Christ and the faith that comes through Him can heal you completely. Are you willing to trust Jesus and step out into the deep right now?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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