Last night, we had a Missions BBQ at Eastport Bible Church. We enjoyed great food, fun and fellowship with our church family, our community and the missionaries who are here this week sharing about the great things that God is doing in their lives all over the world.
At the end of the BBQ, we had our very own John Caprari share a great devotional. John was a key part of our church and our youth group for many, many years. He and his wife are getting ready to move to Tanzania to serve on the mission field.
Last night, John shared about faith. What stood out to me, was a few stories that he referenced from Matthew 14. The first, was the story of how Jesus fed the five thousand. It was a great and beautiful miracle of how Jesus cared for the most basic of human needs by providing a meal of loaves and fish for the hungry people who had followed him from their towns. And right before Jesus fed them, the Bible tells us that he had compassion on them and he healed their sick. Jesus’ closest friends were direct witnesses to this miracle.
Right after Jesus did this, he asked his friends or disciples, to get into a boat and go ahead of him to the other side of the water while he took time to connect with God by going off alone to pray. During the night, the Bible tells us that Jesus performed another miracle by walking out to the disciples on the water.
Instead of being amazed at how Jesus was continuing to work, it says that the disciples were terrified. The boat had been caught up in a storm and the wind and the waves were intimidating. Jesus calls out to them to ease their fears. And it is Peter who takes the step of faith to walk out on the water to Jesus. He was doing well, until he notices the winds and the waves and his lack of focus causes him to sink. Immediately Jesus reaches out to him to save him but reprimands him for his lack of faith.
I have to admit, that I’ve personally struggled a bit this week with a lack of faith. It is our Missions Week, which means that things are extra busy for our family. And then we also had Jeremy’s parents visiting with us for four days as well. This combination made it hard to get the chance to go and visit Michael. So I stayed updated with Sally. But in the past few days, he’s been back and forth to the hospital with minor complications.
And in that, my heart has struggled a bit. I’ve lost focus on knowing that God is working mightily. I’m like the disciples, who saw a miracle, and then almost immediately forgot and gave in to fear. So that being said, I was so encouraged by John’s devotion last night. I was encouraged to refocus on Jesus and knowing that He is working for Michael and for his good. I loved how Jesus said to his disciples when they were fearful, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
No matter what is going on in your life today, know that this message stands true for all of us. God wants us to be courageous and to know that He is right there with us. We do not have to be afraid.