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For the last four years, while my son Jake was a starting tight-end for the Wisconsin Badgers, I was writing and editing my first novel. We both proclaimed our lofty dreams when we were children. NFL player. Novelist. Using the talents God gave us, we both worked hard and honed our talents, even through a myriad of challenges, including Jake’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
In an earlier blog, Novelist Aspirations and NFL Dreams, I shared about a mother-son connection that allowed four-year-old Jake’s fears to travel from his dreams into mine. “Connections,” is the theme of this blog; to connected to each other to inspire and share about life and writing.
The connections between my son and I continue. When Jake earned recognition in the Rose Bowl, I earned an award in a major writing contest. Jake got an agent at the same time I got an agent. Not an easy task. Getting an agent means someone, other than yourself, believes in your talents and is willing to invest in you.
Jake signed with the New Orleans Saints. He survived Rookie Camp and we are looking forward to the football season. Go Saints! My novel is being shopped around at publishing houses. Newbies in being a NFL player and a Novelist, we can’t help but wonder, “Will they like us? How far will we go?”
All of us experience moments of, “Wow! I made it this far. Do I have the talent, the strength, the ability to come out from the cusp of this dream and live it?” But a life of faith is about perseverance, taking risks, and moving forward, knowing God is with us.
Yet sometimes it seems we are walking on water and could sink at any time. Consider Peter’s attempt to walk on water to get to Jesus from Matthew 14:25-31: Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.
“It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!l It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “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?”
Peter could not walk on water on his own power. He asks Jesus to tell him to come, in faith, knowing that it’s God’s power that will make it happen. In any situation, if we pray and ask God to lead us, He will.
But when Peter saw the wind, and looked into the troubled waters, he was afraid, and began to sink. The wind can be any threat to our dreams and can come in the form of a moment of self-doubt, a discouraging word from another, or in the form of a physical condition. But when we, as Christian’s, commit ourselves, our plans, our lives to God, we can trust that the power of God will sustain us.
Maybe at times, like Peter, we get into troubled waters and doubt God’s power in our situation. We cry, “Lord, save me.” That in itself keeps us afloat. Jesus will always immediately reach out His hand and catch us. Why do we have such little faith at times?
I expressed to Jake that it feels like we are walking on water now. It seems a miracle for both of us to have come this far. While we have worked hard, we understand that we haven’t come this far on our own. The power of God is as much a part of both of our life’s walk as our breathing. We have committed our lives and our careers to Him. We are confident that if we keep our eyes on Christ, He will allow us mere humans to do the impossible, to walk on water, to achieve things we could not otherwise imagine.
We walk on in faith, praying for the power of God to guide us. His power can make miracles happen. I’ve seen it.