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COLUMNS

Beginning to sink

Tiffany Chartier
Special to Texoma Marketing and Media Grup

“You know, I’ve been struggling against something all my life.” The woman’s voice on the other end of the phone travels somewhere between her heart and my ear.

“Explain.”

“Sometimes it has a name; other times, it’s a struggle that’s going on in the world. Maybe a relationship, diagnosis, financial strain, or an unrest in the news. The ‘something’ has changed many times, but the struggle remains.”

The telephone conversation slows, reducing our words in thought. Her goodbye sentiments are laced with both resignation and hope. “The best I can do is filter what I can control from what I cannot. To stay strengthened in scripture. To always have faith. Without faith, I would not be here. The world is not enough to keep my peace.” She takes in a breath, fortifying her voice in the roots of her spirit. “I must have faith.”

Her words shine upon the pattern of my life. “Very true,” I say more as a confession to myself. I give a nod to the knowing that I would not be here if it were not for the Lord. My confidence is in Him. And through Him, I find the courage to persevere.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

In the popular biblical story of Peter walking on water to meet Jesus, many focus on Peter beginning to sink when he doubts Jesus:

“…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).

Yes, Peter became afraid. But another point is to be considered: Peter was the only one who got out of the boat. He was the only one who came toward Jesus. And even though he faltered, Peter did not fail. He knew who to cry to when he was sinking.

Fear is common. Getting out of the boat takes courage. Trusting who will save you requires faith.

How did Jesus respond? Did Jesus watch Peter drown in his despair and doubt? No. Jesus responded immediately, reaching out His hand and catching Peter.

The Lord hears and responds to His children – even those who have little faith. A little faith in a faithful God is greater than any measure of confidence in a crumbling world. Faith “as small as a mustard seed” empowers the possibility of something more – more than what struggles against us, and more than what attempts to keep us in the boat.

Faith reminds us that in a world of insurmountable obstacles, God still does what we would deem impossible. Nothing is beyond His reach, including you. If you feel like you are beginning to sink in despair and doubt, know the Lord hears your cry. He reaches out His hand and catches you. You are His. And He has you.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

She takes in a breath, fortifying her voice in the roots of her spirit. “I must have faith.”

What “something” is keeping you in the boat?

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.