I must begin today’s essay by trying to put into words our family’s gratitude for your prayers and encouragement. So many of you have expressed your support for Ryan as he faces cancer surgery tomorrow morning, and for us as we walk with him. You have truly been the body of Christ ministering his peace to us, and we are deeply grateful.
One dear friend brought dinner last night and shared a wonderful insight in the card that accompanied her kind gift. She knows that I am exploring Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on the stormy Sea of Galilee in this week’s essays. So she enclosed this quote: “When you feel like you’re drowning, isn’t it comforting to know that your lifeguard walks on water?”
As we continue to consider my favorite miracle in Scripture, today I am focusing on this fact: we can do anything God calls us to do, for his will never leads where his grace cannot sustain.
Peter could walk on the water to Jesus because Jesus called him to do so: “‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said” (Matthew 14:28-29). And the fisherman came, focused on the One whose omnipotence suspended him on the storm-tossed waves. However, “when he saw the wind, he was afraid” and he began to sink (v. 30). He could walk in Jesus’ power only as long as he trusted his provision.
Yesterday, Janet showed me a remarkable insight in Chris Tiegreen’s thoughtful devotional, “In His Steps.” Consider this statement: “While the pagan world takes provision as each individual’s responsibility, Jesus says the initiative is God’s. Above our worries is an active Provider with a perfect sense of timing. He is in control, even when we aren’t sure how tomorrow’s needs will be met. When we run after provision, we are running after the wrong thing, something that God has claimed as His dominion. We are to run after His kingdom and righteousness. That’s what we were made for.”
In other words, we cannot receive God’s provision if we are trying to provide for ourselves at the same time. I cannot dine at your table while eating at mine. If I give my fears for Ryan to his Father, the King of the universe promises to meet our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). If I choose self-reliance over Spirit-dependence, I forfeit all his omnipotence can do.
A. W. Tozer was right: “God is looking for those through whom he can do the impossible–what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do by ourselves.” What seems impossible in your life today?
Dr. Denison’s cultural commentary originally appeared at http://www.denisonforum.org. It has been reposted here with permission of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.