Sunday, July 25, 2010

You too can walk on water!

I have recently decided to share some spiritual truths I come across via this medium, and this is the first in a series of randomly spaced notes that will continue for some time.
Only this morning, I was reading through the first chapter of Luke, and I was struck by the contrast between the responses of Zechariah and Mary to the message that Gabriel brought them. You remember that story, do you?
Zechariah was an old priest who had been praying to God for a child (vs. 13) for quite some time (vs. 18). We understand that we pray expecting to receive, so we might guess that Zechariah was expecting an answer, right?
So the appointed time came, and God sent news that his long awaited kid – and not just any kid, but a really special one – was on the way; great news by all means! And so Gabriel came down right from the presence of God (vs. 19) to deliver the message, only to have Zechariah ask for proof (vs. 18)!
You probably think Zechariah had a little measure of faith – or that it was plain ol’ disbelief (vs. 20), right? And yes, that brings back to mind the story of Peter trying to walk on the stormy sea (Matt. 14); he had a little measure of faith too, right?
Gabriel noted that Zechariah did not believe the message, but before you condemn ol’ Zechariah: would you believe God for healing if you were shivering so hard that you could not even pray? Would you give your laptop out without proof that another one was on the way, because God said to? Would you believe God if He said you would be admitted into OAU, and your UME score was yet to be released on the eve of post-UME? Examples abound in our daily lives of instances when we wait for physical proof of God’s word before launching out in faith, consciously or unconsciously.
In Matt. 14 vs. 13, Jesus said that Peter was of little faith – after the walking on water saga. But then, the same Peter went on to become one of the founding fathers of the church, daring authorities, healing the sick, and doing great things for God. Simply put, there is always room for growth!
Of course, there will be times when we will have to ask God questions; but they have to be the right ones. In vs. 34, Mary asked ‘how can this happen’? Here we have two questions with similar wordings, but coming from different hearts. We find (vs. 38) that Mary’s response was born out of a pure heart that believed God instinctively, but did not understand what was going on. You probably would not too – if you were about to give birth to a child without having ever known a man! And did you notice that she got her answer (vs. 35)?
It is one thing not to understand what God is doing with or through you – and to ask for clarification promptly, and yet another thing to ask for proof that God will come true – out of disbelief. We will not always understand what God is doing, and there are definitely things we will never get to understand until THEN (1 Cor. 13 vs. 12). However, all that is required of us is that we step out in faith – whether we understand or not – so far as He has said it!
There are a lot more things about this passage I would love to share, but I also would love to keep this as short as possible, so people can drop by every once in a while – read through quite fast, and move on.
Jesus is walking on the water, and He is asking you to come to Him. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty, and your shirt might not be the type that doubles as a life jacket. Will you delay Him and yourself by asking Him to explain the working principles of buoyancy; will you sit back there and smugly ask Him to show you the stones He is walking on; or will you step out in faith and keep your eyes on Him?
Shall we?

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