So, today I'm deviating from my usual crazy stories to share something exciting I learned today. First, a reminder of some scripture you've probably heard before from Matthew 14 (courtesy of Bible Gateway.com):
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27But 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. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Today in my Sunday school class we watched a video lesson about this Bible story. Now, don't get me wrong, I really love our Sunday school class, but this is a story I've heard many, many times. So when I realized the lesson was about Peter walking on water I wasn't expecting to hear anything new.
Boy was I wrong! Rob Bell, the super-cool, frosted-tipped video teacher (his hair has been quite the topic in our class), pointed out something I've never even considered.
When Peter started to sink, Jesus said, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
I've always thought this passage of scripture indicates that we shouldn't doubt the power of Christ. We should believe that God can do anything - even give a man the ability to walk on water. And I still believe that to be a true lesson found here.
But the question I've never asked is this: Who was Peter doubting?
Peter didn't doubt that Jesus could walk on water - Jesus wasn't sinking. Peter was. Here comes the new part.
He was doubting himself.
He was doubting his ability to follow through on what God told him to do. He didn't think he could do it, and the fact that Jesus himself was just a few steps away didn't keep him from doubting.
I was immediately reminded of all the times in my life that I didn't think I could do something - like the one kid I couldn't reach, or the one person I just couldn't get along with, or even little things like I can't listen to Keaton scream anymore without having a nervous breakdown. Rob Bell, super-cool video Sunday school teacher, said very simply, "God believes in you."
The story goes on. As I've reflected on this today I've remembered my parents who always made me think that they believed I could do anything. Whether they believed it or not isn't all that relevant because they made me believe that they believed in me.
And such is the parental nature of our God. With his support, we can do anything - duh, right? I mean, those of us fortunate enough to be brought up in Christianity are taught that from the time we're little.
Don't get me wrong - this isn't some kind of new age, "I can do it myself," power of humanity revelation that I've had. It's just as simple as God won't ask me - call me - to do something unless he believes that we can do it together.
And so the fact that God believes in me is a new, powerful revelation for me.
So powerful, in fact, that I wanted to share. I wanted to tell you that God believes in you. Even when you don't believe in yourself.
He believes that you can make a difference. He believes that you can be better today than you were yesterday. He believes that you are worthwhile. If he didn't believe in you, he wouldn't have asked you to do all of those things.
Feels good, doesn't it?