Over the past few days, I’ve been beginning to feel overwhelmed by work. It’s not just the actual work (which is heavy), it’s navigating the sensitive issues and relationships between people and trying to be aware of the potential landmines that are emotionally draining. I am where I am because I have followed where God called. But when the going gets tough, sometimes I wonder at how I got here.
Last night, during prayer with my SCC (Small Christian Community), God gave me the image of Jesus walking on water, and I was in the place of Peter. I called out to Jesus “Call me to you, Lord! And I will believe and walk to you in faith!” and Jesus said, “COME.” Joyously and filled with enthusiasm and faith I jumped out of the boat and started to walk on the water towards Jesus. But suddenly I realized the wind was very strong and it was hitting me on every side (in Singapore we don’t have such strong winds, but in Toronto, i’ve walked in winds that hit 70km/h, even more – no kidding, you can’t walk straight – it’s scary!). The wind struck fear in my heart, and I began to sink…
“Ann!” Jesus called out to me across the water. His voice rang with authority over the winds. In panic I looked at him – I was sinking! His eyes are filled with tenderness and He said, “Keep your focus on me. The wind will always be there, and it was already there when I called you to come to me. It is by my power that you walk on water – not your own. Keep your eyes on me, and you will have faith.” And Jesus came to me, pulled me up, and challenged me to keep walking on the water with Him.
Indeed, I have stepped out of the safety of my little boat and decided to follow where He calls – and Jesus calls me to ever increasingly difficult places. But when I suddenly realize how strong the winds actually are, I begin to lose my courage… I start sinking. This ‘vision’ was so wonderful because Jesus is reminding me, all I have to do is keep my focus on HIM! I don’t have to get distracted by all these other things, compelling and strong as they seem.
More and more, I find it really doesn’t matter whether I’m doing a ‘good job’ or not in my work. The measure of success or failure can be direly misleading. The important question is: Was I compassionate in my decision? Did I act upon prayer and discernment? If the answer is yes on both counts to the best of my ability in the present, then whether success or failure follows upon my action should make no difference to me.
For whether Peter was walking on water or sinking, what mattered was not that he succeeded or failed. What mattered was that he went when Jesus called, and that he cried out to Jesus when he started sinking. What mattered was that Jesus is on the water with him, and that He loves Peter and would never let Peter sink!
Yes Lord, I will go to you on the water. For when I hear you call my name, my heart leaps with joy and I will do whatever it takes to be close to you. Help me in my lack of faith! Strengthen me with your grace! Help me to remember that it is all your power – none of my effort – that is at work. I adore you, Lord! Let me walk on the water with you!