But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27 NIV
A few years ago at church, I witnessed the most beautiful gift. She was a student at Central State University and seriously resembled the girl that played Precious, Gabourey Sidibe. Her short frame and determined stature confidently bolted out the most gorgeous opera and melodies. I was stunned!
Her voice was so anointed and dynamic that my body felt entranced. God’s glory was being expressed through her being, through her gift. Then it hit me…
What if the fear of failure would have stopped her from singing or showing up that day? I would have missed her brilliance. I got a little teary eyed. The fear of failure tempts so many of us to stop or not show up.
Fear can be such a debilitating bully. How can we resist its jolt? Well, I believe the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter’s response (Matthew 14:25-33) can help us out:
Revelation gives us gumption!
Peter didn’t take hold of Jesus’ revelation until Jesus said, “Come.” Then, he stepped out of the boat, afraid and unsure, but he stepped OUT. Unfortunately, stepping out doesn’t remove all the tremors of fear. Instead, it increases our faith. The more you and I are obedient to God’s revelation the more fear loses its power to paralyze. We gain the gumption to get it done regardless of the outcome.
Relationship gives us assurance!
Peter shows us this so well when he asked Jesus, “Lord, if it’s you… tell me to come to you on the water.” The more you and I engage God, the more assurance we can walk in. Through relationship we learn God’s characteristics and concern for us. Throughout my journey, I have to seek God in order to confirm my steps (Luke 11:9). I’m like Peter, “Lord, if it’s you,” I won’t give up! See, clarity from God gives us the assurance we need to press on, despite the fear.
Reach gives us resolve!
Regardless of our level of uneasiness, we are never out of God’s reach. There have been times when I thought, “I’m tired! I’m afraid!” and then miraculously God’s reach would comfort me. Not literally, like how Jesus reached for Peter, but through a divine encounter or email. God’s way of reaching out to each of us can boost our resolve to leap out in faith and see failure, not as finality, but more as a guide.
I pray that each of us has enough gumption to trust God, more than we doubt – and STEP OUT.
If you have lost your way or if the fear of failure is numbing your knees, remember the last thing God told you to do and do it. Recalling revelation helps.
God, thank You for being real and giving me another day to become more of who You created me to be. God give me the wisdom and understanding to recognize fear and push through it, knowing that whatever You’ve called me to do is already done. Thank You God for the ability to show up, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.