Sunday, August 14, 2011
So today’s sermon at church was speaking about two stories that most Christians know pretty well. The story of David and Goliath as well as the story of when Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus. For those of you who do not David had to stand up to a huge Giant named Goliath and he was able to do it with a stone and with a huge amount of faith in God. Then the story of Peter stepping out onto the water to walk to Jesus took a great amount of faith as well, but when Peter lost his faith, he began to sink, however Jesus was able to still save him. Okay so why am I bringing these two stories up? Well, the sermon continued to speak about what our own personal giants are. What or Who is in your life that you fear or is keeping you away from something? Perhaps your thinking of a person that is always trying to put you down or get in your way? Or something you are waiting for to happen…. "if only I had this, then I’ll be okay." Whether it is a person, place or thing, it is your giant, perhaps it’s stopping you from living up to your potential or follow God’s calling for your life. So what’s your giant?
I have many Giants in my life, as I’m sure most of us do. However recently I have had one or two that are clumped together that are making life harder and scarier than usual. I have felt a great calling, I believe from God, to come back to the area in which I grew up, the Capital district in New York. Several times I felt it or heard it. I also tried to ignore it and sometimes I still want to, to be honest. I moved to Pennsylvania to go to school to follow God’s calling to become educated and equipped to be able to come back to New York and begin His work. So as graduation approached I prepared by packing all my belongings, saying my good-byes to my friends in Pennsylvania and drove 4 hours back home for good. Since I have moved home there have been ups and downs. Yet the down part, seems to be weighing heavier on my heart. I moved back here in complete fear. "How do I know how to help this area?" "I’m only 25?" "God how can I help people here and practically alone for that matter!" "What do I do first…second….third?" "I do not want to do this." Yes I do, no I don’t." Tears….tears…..and oh yeah more tears….. "Don’t you remember that I am not gifted in this area God? Don’t you remember who I am? And that I do not even like to speak in public?" "How can this work?" "Maybe I never should have moved back here?" "Maybe I made a mistake, or did not hear you correctly, Lord." You get the idea? Basically, for almost three months I have been completely fearful, anxious and heartbroken. Sure, there has been Light and Truth, but also a lot of pain, including the suffering and finally the death of my grandmother. Also the State leaving me to wait weeks upon weeks to know if I can even work as a fully legitimate counselor (which I am still waiting on). Needless to say I have had a great deal of stress, but let’s go back to that David guy, oh yeah and Peter.
I would say my biggest giant is my own fear! Fear that I cannot do this or that I’ll make the wrong move and God will be angry. Fear that I’ll be less than what people expect or what I’ll expect of myself. Fear that I’ll harm others more than help them. But, I keep forgetting my stone, Truth! The Truth is that I should "fear not!" and not just because I need to lower my blood pressure, but because the Bible and God tells me so. God wants us to have more faith in Him and know what He is capable doing, mostly because He knows better and loves us so much. He wants me to know that I cannot do it, but He sure can and He’ll be helping me every step of the way. He wants me to not care so much about what I or others expect and look to Him for acceptance and most importantly grace. It’s time to humble myself and submit to Him, because He’d like to father me. Boy, I sure wish I would let Him father me, because lately I feel like a baby who needs to be held and maybe even with a stuff animal and a blanket. So, I need to bring that rock with me, everywhere. I need to stand up to New York state and fight. I need to seek Truth and know that there is a plan better than the one in my head or on my to-do list. I need to persevere, which God keeps speaking to me. Lastly I need to remember Peter. Peter was able to step out in faith. He took one step out of the boat and was able to stand on water, like Christ, because he believed, then he began to sink only when he began to doubt in Jesus and perhaps in what Peter can and cannot do, logic began to set in. He probably thought "wait I can’t do this, no one can, this is impossible"…BAM…began to sink! But let’s not forget the rest of the story, Peter asked for Jesus to help him, save him. So Jesus reminded him that he had little faith, but even so He helped him anyway. Peter made a mistake by not trusting, but Christ still helped him. I feel a lot like Peter, I’d say 90% of the time. I am always trying, but will eventually screw up and many times in huge ways. I was able to do some of what God asked, go to school and move back home. I got out of the boat, I had the faith to do that, but now I am sinking. I am having trouble believing in more than logic or past experience. Yet I know that God has not left me, in fact I have felt him more these months than possibly in years. And I feel myself brought to my knees now more than ever. I am trying to build a faith. A faith that can walk on water, beat a giant, and move a mountain. A faith that can bring social justice to this area, that can bring Christian Counseling and other resources of the community to lower income people and most importantly that can bring love to a community that is very broken, hurt and bleeding. A love that they may never of known, or perhaps have forgotten but can receive freely. Only these things have and can happen with faith and so I’ll bring my rock of "Truth" with me to continue the battle.