Take my hand!


Coronavirus – Covid19.  It’s become real and people are afraid! Are you?  So many are making decisions that are out of proportion to the actual threat of the virus. Our economy is staggering as the stock market responds with fear. Travel plans are being cancelled. Even the smallest risk of exposure is creating terrible anxiety. What I read tells me to take basic precautions – wash hands frequently, keep hands away from the face. It appears that the vast majority of people who do get infected develop symptoms like the common cold and quickly recover. But, fear is a powerful thing and the daily drone of news amplifies our sense that the threat is imminent for each of us.

Don’t let yourself be driven – in any part of life – by fear. Face the fact that Life is not a sure thing! Manage risk. Don’t become a slave to fear!

If you prepare to start a new project there will always be naysayers who will warn you that ‘there isn’t enough money, there isn’t enough time, somebody might sue us …”  If you take the lead for change you will inevitably be told that you’re “too young, too old, too dumb, too smart…” to live your dream.  Here is what I know –  if we believe those negative voices, we begin to die inwardly because we put our dreams on the shelf and go home to our recliners to watch TV alone night after night: safe but ‘dead.’

Reading in Matthew, we saw how Jesus fed 5000 people miraculously. It was a high moment, a wondrous thing to celebrate. He then sent His disciples home across the lake by boat, while he went to seek a solitary place of prayer. It was rough going  because of waves and wind. In the middle of the night, Jesus came to them – walking on the water. Their first response? Terror!  Who expects to see a man coming through the mists in the middle of a lake? “Surely,” they thought, “We are seeing a ghost.”  Then, He spoke.

Peter recognized the voice of Jesus and in keeping with his impulsiveness he said, “Lord, if it’s you tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV)

This isn’t a story about a daredevil who threw all caution to the wind or about a man with a secret death wish. Peter wanted to know His Lord and his love for Jesus overcome all fear, leading him to obedience. Peter asked Jesus to call him and when the Lord did, Peter responded — against all good sense — by getting out of the boat. He walked on the water until he realized the absurdity of his situation and only then  he failed… or did he?  I think that the real failures that night were the other 11 guys who sat safely in the boat watching Peter do the impossible.

We smile at Peter’s quickly fading faith, at the fact that when he realized he was standing on water, he grew fearful. But, I’m impressed that he obeyed Jesus’ invitation. I, too, have responded to His invitation only to begin to grasp the ‘impossibility’ of my situation and to slip into fear. He is there, my Savior, my God. Have you ever figuratively walked on water or are you safe in the boat, unwilling to take a risk?  Willingness to take a risk is an integral part of success!  Those unwilling to fail cannot succeed.

Are waves kicking up around your little lifeboat today?  Are your kids rebelling?  Is your marriage strained?  Is some sin pulling hard on you, so much that the temptation is nearly overwhelming?  Have past financial decisions come around creating a situation you can’t control?   Are you afraid of aging, the future, or the coronavirus?   We all have storms that come up, making waves. No matter how risk averse you are, sickness, stress, and hardships find us all. That’s life!

Jesus walks with us. He’s passing by, and He’s inviting us to walk on the waves! Will you accept the challenge to grow a bigger, deeper faith?  When you hear His voice, get out of the boat.

Here’s the word from the Word.  Make it yours as you meditate on it. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NLT)


“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
Lyrics & Music by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Mahalia Jackson

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

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