A real leap of faith

They say that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes God speaks in mysterious ways as well. I wish he would speak to me directly and audibly but he speaks to me through scripture, sermons, and songs. I didn’t expect God to speak to me through an Amish romance novel, but he did.

Last year, a friend gave me a bag of books that belonged to her mother, including some Amish love stories. They’re not books I would choose myself, though this particular genre is targeted at Evangelical women over the age of 50. The books sat in my basement for months. When I gave up social media for Lent, I suddenly had more time to read.

One of the Amish books is A Road Unknown by Barbara Cameron. In the book, a twenty-year old named Elizabeth got on a bus and ran away from home. She was the oldest of nine kids and had grown weary of taking care of her younger siblings. With her job and home responsibilities, she didn’t have time for a social life and was afraid she would never date or get married. So she decided to go stay with a friend in Pennsylvania and search for a job.

On her road trip to Pennsylvania, Elizabeth worried about whether she had packed enough food. Then she saw birds pecking at some crumbs and she thought: His eye is on the sparrow. Later in the book, she bought a couple of sparrow figurines to remind herself of God’s love and protection.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31

After I read the book, I started thinking about my most recent leap of faith. A couple of years ago, I was so unhappy in my job that I quit even though I didn’t have another job lined up. I considered retiring early. But I found that health insurance is really expensive if you don’t have an employer to subsidize the premiums. I looked for non-profit jobs, hoping that I could find work that is more meaningful. I ended up jumping back into the rat race because it was easier to find a job in the for-profit market.

When I made that leap of faith, the visual that inspired me was a picture of a fish jumping out of a glass bowl, with the caption, “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” My leap of faith transported me to a job that is better than the last one. But instead of really taking a risk, I leapt from one fish bowl to another. So it is no surprise that I find myself once again wanting to take a leap. I am constantly thinking about beginning the next stage of my life somewhere else, escaping the suburbs and moving closer to nature.

Several years ago, I did a Bible study based on John Ortberg’s book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. One night, the disciples were in the boat, tossed about by the wind. Jesus had gone off by himself to pray. Just before dawn, the disciples saw Jesus walking out to them on the water and were afraid, thinking he was a ghost.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! 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?”

Matthew 14:27-31

I am a lot like Peter. I want to trust that God will not let me fall. I take a tentative step then quickly return to the safety of what I know.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

Thankfully, God is patient with me, just as Jesus was patient with Peter. I am thankful that he knows what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. He has a plan for me and his plans will not be thwarted. His purpose will prevail.


Photo by Photo by fred A on Unsplash

Trust in God’s Loving Protection

My church studied the First Epistle of John in a sermon series on “Living Deep.” My pastor handed out a list of fourteen steps to help us go deeper in our faith walk. Step two is Trust in God’s Loving Protection.

Trust in God’s Loving Protection

When I think about God’s loving protection, I can’t help but recall the times when I narrowly escaped physical harm. But God’s protection is also emotional and spiritual. In the Book of Psalms, I read of David’s trust in God’s loving protection. The Lord was David’s rock, redeemer, fortress, and refuge just as he is mine. With my reading list in mind, I reflect on what God’s protection means to me.


Trusting in my Father’s Protection

I am your beloved child.
You hold me so close,
no one can snatch me
out of your hands.

When I’m tossed around
by the storms of life
You calm the raging seas
and bring me peace.

Your love is perfect;
it drives out my fear.
I will not be dismayed,
for you are my God.

A day of evil has come
and I prepare to stand
in the power of your name
with your gospel of peace.

You are a mighty fortress,
the rock on which I stand.
Your love gives me strength
to battle the darkness.

I don your full armor..

the shield of my faith,
the belt of your truth,
the sword of your Spirit.

Standing against evil,
I will act justly
I will be merciful
I will walk humbly.

The One who is in me
is greater than the one
who is in the world.
With you I overcome.

Reading List:

Psalm 18:2, 91:14, 139:5-12
Isaiah 41:10
John 10:28, 17:11-15
1 John 4:4, 18, 5:1-5
Ephesians 6:13-17

Image of Christ walking on the sea, by Amédée Varint, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons