If you came over from Encouragement for Today, I’m so glad you are here!
Today I’m in The Netherlands, a tired, jet-lagged girl from a long journey on the plane. I’m totally outside my comfort zone as God has opened doors for ministry in several cities across The Netherlands, Austria, and Italy with Hearts at Home International.
It’s definitely one of those moments where you feel God asking you to jump into deeper waters and trust Him.
I want to swim. Even when I’m out of my comfort zone. Even when the task seems both wonderful and daunting.
Let’s look together at some things that help when we feel we might sink. . .
Stop looking at the waves
Recently I talked with a woman who was handed an exciting opportunity. As we talked she shared how afraid she was of travel, of the uncertainties on the other side, of meeting with people she didn’t know, and a long list of other challenges.
The more she talked the more I could see fear and anxiety climbing. Suddenly the opportunity was obscured by the mountain she had to climb. The joy was drained from what God had placed in her path. She had completely psyched herself into panic.
“Wait,” I said. “Stop.”
I asked her to consider that 100% of the things that she was worried about hadn’t taken place yet. She was so focused on the waves that her trip had shipwrecked and she hadn’t step foot out of her house yet.
Which led us to the next step.
Tackle one thing at a time
“What is your first step?” I asked.
“I need to prepare.”
“Great, do that. What does that look like?”
“I need to first pray. Then study.”
Just taking that first step (instead of looking at the whole trip or opportunity) gave her something tangible to do. Prayer invited God into the process. Preparing meant that some of the “what ifs” were answered.
How many times, when God speaks to our hearts, do we try to tackle the entire task in one day in our brains?
It might be months or weeks down the road, and yet we are attempting to work out all of the details in our minds in one swoosh move.
Once you’ve prayed and prepared, then you jump in deeper.
Not over your head, but in waters that invite you to swim instead of splash at the shore.
That might be the learning phase, where you grow in knowledge and understanding. Where you begin to trust that God sees and knows something you don’t yet. Where you step out of the usual crowd or the usual to-do’s of your life to stretch to grow.
You are far from the other shore, but this part of the swim is invigorating. And scary. And yet your arms are getting stronger. The strokes are pulling you further. Your gaining your rhythm, and discovering how far you can go.
And what is the last step?
This is a continual process. I hope one day that when I’m a kickin’ old lady that I took time to swim a little farther the day before.
We don’t ever stop growing.
Will we sink on ocassion? Sure, but when you start to sink you know exactly whose name to call and He’ll be right there, reaching out to take you by the hand.