This journey of following that we have been on, this journey that has intensified over the course of the last 6 months as we have been thrust into the next chapter of our lives has been so rich and full of goodness. It’s not been without its concerns or stresses. At the top of the list of concerns that we’ve had surrounds how Sophi and Raena would adjust to living in the Dominican, their education, their health, their tech support without specialists easily on hand, etc…
Concern is good. Concern is an expression of love. Anxiety… anxiety is different. It is the opposite of peace and inserts itself the moment trust in God gives way. Anxiety is the perversion of concern and is symptomatic of wanting to control all outcomes on our own terms. Anxiety indulges “What ifs,” and makes obstacles of countless hypothetical scenarios kindling embers of doubt into a raging inferno of fear induced paralysis. That’s where it goes. Anxiety distracts us, leading us to ignore everything else around us because we are so consumed by things that have not happened but might. It’s an effective tool of the enemy to draw us off course and render us utterly ineffective.
Peter walked on water. He was bold enough to get out of a boat in an effort to meet Jesus who was walking on the water towards him. He did it! He was walking on water. He journeyed into the madness of trusting that if Jesus willed it the water would hold him and against all common sense and practical knowledge he was doing it. But he got distracted. He took his eyes off of Jesus and started to look at the waves all around him. He began giving the very real possibilities around him more authority over his situation than Jesus and he began to sink… But he didn’t drown. Jesus reached down, pulled him up and asked, “Why did you doubt?”
Our journey is a different kind of dramatic than that. There have been times when we’ve been tempted to be stifled and hindered by “what ifs.” But God in his grace meets us in our fear and nudges us, rescues us from our tendency to sink and reminds us that the point is to follow Him, not to stop and obsess over the rocks we could possibly trip over along the way. We’re grateful for a God that nudges. We’ve needed nudging along the way. We’re also grateful for a God that adds to our courage as we journey forward with little signs of encouragement to keep going.
I love that the teacher chose “tasting God’s Promises” rather than “taste” because it conveys on-going experience in motion; it has not been completed and we are also not waiting on it. It’s happening now and it’s an on-going discovery. So “Tasting God’s Promises,” the teacher later explained is actually their class’s theme for the year. Turns out, I think it’s mine too.