Thursday, July 15, 2010
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It's hard to believe there was a time when you had to be carried by someone in order to get anywhere, right? You know, there was a time when it was a major, major breakthrough for you to finally figure out how to move yourself places. Not too long ago, I had a chance to see our six-month-old granddaughter in that milestone struggle to figure out how to crawl. We stopped the presses not long ago because she had learned to sit up by herself. Now, that's a good start. I had been sitting on the living room carpet with her (I recently learned to sit up by myself, as well). I lay down a few feet from her, I held a favorite toy on the rug in front of me, and I started drumming my fingers rhythmically on the carpet. She was definitely intrigued. And you could tell she really wanted to get to my fingers and to that toy. She finally figured out there was no easy way to get what she wanted. She managed to fall forward from her sitting position, get up on all fours, and then rock back and forth in neutral. She reached my direction with one hand, risking her delicate balance. She didn't quite make it, but I knew she would soon. Because I knew that she would eventually do whatever she had to do to get where she wanted to be.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When the Goal is Beyond Your Reach."
Sometimes you have to do things you've never done to reach what you've never had before, if you're a baby...or if you're a child of God. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always have what you've always had. And that's all. And much of what you need in your life, much of what you're restless for, and much of what God wants to give you is beyond your reach. As long as you stay in your comfort zone, it always will be.
Peter learned a lot about the life-stretching ways of Jesus one day on the lake called the Sea of Galilee. It's in Luke 5, beginning with verse 5, and it's our word for today from the Word of God. Peter, the veteran fisherman, had nothing to show for a whole night of fishing. Then, in the middle of the day (when fish are hard to find), Jesus tells him to put out into the deep water and let down the nets that Peter has just finished cleaning. Well, the Bible says, "Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.'" They caught so many fish it almost sank their boats!
Jesus was beckoning Peter to do something he had never done so he could experience something he had never experienced, just like I was doing with my little granddaughter. And that day Peter decided to take an even riskier step. He left the only life he knew, as a fisherman, and chose to follow Jesus wherever He took him, which was to give to his life a spiritual significance he could have never imagined. But he had to move beyond what was safe, and so do you.
God's been trying to get you to make that move. Maybe that's why that door closed, that chapter ended, why those plans changed, or why you've "worked hard all night and caught nothing." He's not trying to frustrate you. He's trying to move you to something bigger...something better. Jesus wants to take you to another level. But you'll never get there if you just keep sitting where it's safe, settling only for what you can be sure of. Remember what faith is: "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
You'll never grow, you'll never see what you could be if you stay there where you've always been. Your Father is beckoning to you, inviting you to make a move in the direction of something greater. Don't just sit there!