Happy Monday, my friends! I hope that your week is off to a great start and that you feel prepared for the busy days leading up to fall break!
Last Thursday, we heard an incredible message from Grace Valentine about stepping closer to God during our time in college. Life here at Clemson is crazy, distracting, and sometimes confusing and Grace spoke about looking to Jesus and his sovereignty in the midst of that craziness.
Grace started in Matthew 14:22-33,
“22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus picked him up. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The words “Jesus picked him up,” stood out to me after the reading of the passage. These words should serve as a reminder to all of us that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our lives, Jesus is right there to pick us up when we start to sink. I know it may sound repetitive and might be something you have heard many times before, but Jesus really is there to save us when we fail. That simple statement should never lose its value or its significance.
After reading the passage, Grace explored the story a bit more in order to further connect it to our lives. She broke Peter’s actions in the story into three parts, two right and one wrong.
1. Peter ignored the boat and focused on Jesus -- something we all should strive to do more. If we think of the “boat” as our distractions and the mundane, human issues in our lives it makes sense to use this as an analogy for life as a college student. Focusing your eyes on Jesus is the first step to growing closer to him.
2. Peter didn’t have a plan. All too often I find myself trying to plan every aspect of my life down to the most minute detail -- you should SEE my google calendar. This is not what we are called to do whatsoever. Jesus calls us to follow His plan, not forge one of our own and that is why this action of Peter’s is a great example for how we should act in our daily lives.
1. Looking at the strong winds. After initially leaving all of the distractions behind him, Peter allowed fear to cloud his faith in Jesus. I think we all tend to do this at some point in our lives. We let fear of what could go wrong or fear of what people might say get in the way of what Jesus wants.
Last Thursday, Grace Valentine spoke about following Jesus no matter how scary the winds around us may look. Take a look at life and trust Jesus to keep you afloat. I pray that you all will have a blessed, Christ-centered week and that you give all of the planning, worry, and doubt to Jesus. He truly is the only one who can pick us up and keep us going in the right direction.
Lots of love for you peeps!!