Are You Sinking, Walking, or Looking from the Boat?

22Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. 23After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. 24But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost! ” they said, and cried out in fear.

27Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.”

29“Come! ” He said.

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me! ”

31Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt? ” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God! ” Matthew 14:22-33

This weekend I had a "Come to Jesus" moment with myself about the current direction of my career and things I would like to be doing in the near future here. I can’t do the things I’d like to do right now technically because I haven’t allowed myself to be challenged. I have to thank my linesister Janelle for a recent post of hers that has stuck in my mind…I need to be willing to lose some sleep for these things I want to do. I realized in a great conversation with another of my Sorority sisters this past Sunday that I really needed to apply some great tidbits I took from an article I read, most notable the paraphrase below:
"You should switch jobs after you’ve learned all you need to know."

I honestly asked myself if I knew all I needed to know…and I could definitely say no. So I had to pray. I know I’m to be here for a while longer so I need to get all I can. This relates to my dear friend Peter because in this story there are 4 types of people and I need to pick who I am in this season. Being that I have a picture of a woman walking on water on my vision board with the words "Have Walk On Water Faith" written by my own hand beside it, I need to be like Peter when he got out of the boat and walked on the water and aspire to be like Jesus — who confidently stood on the water as Peter walked. So I felt led to share with all of you the insights I gathered from the different people present, and after looking at this list, determine who you are.

First, there is Jesus. Jesus is fully assured of His identity, of His sonship, of His personage and all his capabilities. As this relates to work, Jesus knew what He could and could not do. He had a detailed plan for each day as a result of His deliberate stealing away to pray and putting into action what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). Ask yourself, do you have a to-do list? Do you have a predetermined goal or thing you’d like to accomplish for your day? Do you focus on one task and execute it? Many times, I’ve had several goals, been distracted and ended the day without having completed any of it. Jesus was methodical, even if unorthodox, but He completed everything He had intended to do. Have you accomplished the goal? Learned all you can learn?

Next, there is bold, get out of the boat and walk Peter. This Peter is a G (lolol). He gets up in the middle of the storm, gets out of the boat and begins to walk. In layman’s terms, he makes up his mind, sets a goal, puts it in front of him to be his focus and gets to it. He aims at his target, and shoots. Have you gotten out of the boat? Have you set a goal? Have you put processes and mechanisms in place to achieve that goal? Do you have a plan? Have you made peace with that plan and decided to charge full speed ahead? I’ve done this many times. I am the queen of planning and goal setting. I get excited by having things to aspire to. I set the plan in motion and make calls, get things going. I take the initiative to learn all I can. So be honest with yourself. Have you stepped up to the plate?

Then, there is flee in the face of danger Peter. This Peter is a wuss (albeit in his defense, I probably would have been a wuss too walking on water in the middle of the sea). You see, the storms that rose up on the Sea of Galilee where pretty much like our hurricanes. The conditions around Galilee were perfect for trapping in cross winds and would cause the water to have pretty good chop; it’s easy to understand and rationalize how Peter became scared and began to sink, especially when the scriptures tell us the conditions were already rough. The one good thing to note here, is that although Peter momentarily took his eyes off Jesus, HE KNEW WHO TO ASK FOR HELP. So I ask you, do you know who to go to for help? At work, do you know who has what you need — have you built a relationship with that person so that you can go to them to understand and to learn? Do you have a mentor? Do you have working relationships with the right people? In your relationships, are you seeking counsel from wise, mature Christians? Have you looked to the Bible for direction and insight? Spiritually, have you cried out to God and been honest? Have you asked Him to open your eyes, to show you yourself? To help you get back on track? I am proud to say I did that yesterday. I reached out to my tech lead and one of the other senior developers to get some direction so that I can get where I need to be as a senior developer. Although I am grateful that God favored me and my collective skillset, because it was His favor that qualifies me for the blessings I have, I want to be a good steward over all He has given me and do my best here and in every situation and season I face. God has given us all talents according to what we are capable of (Matthew 25:14-28) and I want to be like the servant with the 10 talents! This morning, another reading I had mentioned this passage, and what stood out there is that Jesus does not say Peter had no faith, but little faith. So he had some faith that could be exercised and could grow. Don’t doubt yourself today!

Lastly, there are the other disciples who stayed in the boat! They didn’t even have faith enough to try and get out of the boat. What ideas are you sitting on — better yet, what money are you sitting on? What things do you want to do that you simply lack the courage to try? What relationships do you want to cultivate, but are too scared to make the connection? Let me put it to you like this: what blessings are you keeping yourself from? I was this person back in 2011. I felt like I was sinking and drowning here in Charleston. I wasn’t growing, or at least I wasn’t growing as quickly as I wanted to grow. I wasn’t pursuing my dreams. God really loves using my sorority sisters I see lol. I had a conversation with my Fav that helped to shift my perspective and change how I saw myself. From there I put the plan I already had in action. It was then that I got out of the boat and began going after what I wanted to do, namely moving and law school (which I’m gonna finish in due season!). So I ask, what is waiting on you outside of the boat?

I took my first step yesterday and actually asked for constructive criticism and ways to go forward in my current line of work…today I received them and have already begun to get to it. I love programming and I always have; I may sorta be like an addict because I love the excitement I get from solving problems, especially as a programmer (bka Programmer’s High lol). I have several plans in the incubator and one of the ways I can nurture them into the manifested stage is by taking full advantage of the blessing I have in my current job. I have to thank God for putting me in a place that I can easily step out of the boat, knowing I’m surrounded by His love.

Today I encourage you to stop sinking and walk on the water, or at least wade while you get the faith to walk. Don’t look with envy from the boat.

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” “Come! ” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29

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