In my previous post, I talked about having blind faith in God. But perhaps you read my blog feeling motivated but didn’t really know where to start. Hopefully I can help to steer you in the right direction.
But first, I would like you to read a bible story that is probably familiar to you. It comes from Matthew 14:22-31.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Now I want you to ask yourselves, why did you doubt?
Let me ask you another question. Would you have faith in a stranger who told you to “come and follow me.” I know I wouldn’t. There are creeps out there today.
How about if I ask you another question. Would you trust a fireman to lead you out of a burning building? Sure. You don’t personally know this man, but we’re taught that fireman will protect us and save us, and that they are good.
Well it’s no surprise that Jesus is good too. Jesus is supposed to protect us and save us. Plus, he’s better than a fireman, because He is perfect. So how come we trust the fireman but not Jesus? I can try to offer a few answers, although I believe that we all have our own reasons for keeping Jesus out of our lives whether we mean to or not, ranging from weaknesses, trust issues, or simply things we want to hide.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
We don’t have to know the fireman personally to trust him, but we do certainly UNDERSTAND all that he or she is capable of, because we’ve seen and heard stories about them performing miracles everyday. For me and probably for you, a lack of trust comes from not understanding our Savior’s history: his miracles, his life, and his sacrifice for us in dying on the cross. I believe that if I took more time getting to know him, then maybe I could trust him a bit more during my everyday trials.
There are a few ways you can go about learning more about Jesus: let me give you a list to start 🙂
- Read the bible
- Attend your local parish or school youth group
- Go to adoration or daily mass
- Start listening to some christian or positive alternative music (Here are a few of my favorites:
- Rend Collective (if you’re looking for something new!)
- Audrey Assad (if you’re looking for something reflective)
- Tenth Avenue North (I mean, all of their songs are pretty awesome)
- Francesca Battistelli & Britt Nicole (something upbeat!)
- Start journaling
- Volunteer and get to know other people’s stories
You may be overwhelmed at this point. Please don’t try to do everything on this list all at once-try a few and see what works for you. Remember this is about getting to know God better and not simply checking Him off your list. Perhaps you even think of some better ways that work for you, but if there is one thing that is a must, it’s to pray and read his word daily. Think about prayer this way: when our parents need to tell us something, they talk to us and have a nice chat (of course, this could be good or bad I suppose!). God, our Father in heaven, needs time to talk to us to, and we need time to talk to Him. Prayer is our time to talk with Him, and the bible also gives us another means of communication with Him.
So to leave you with some food for thought:
I just happened to stumble upon this quote the other day: “Lack of prayer is the cause of lack of time.” – Peter Kreeft
We can’t improve our faith muscles if we don’t work them: and to work them we need to carve out time to spend with God. The disciples, like Peter, spent plenty of time with God, and although we may still doubt God from time to time, the more we know him, the more assurance and strength we will have in Him.
I’ll be honest and say that everyday is a battle to make time for God. Common excuses for me include: I’ll do it later, after my homework, after I finish practicing piano, right before bed. I’m not saying these are bad times to pray-perhaps they work well for you. I’m saying that many times we put God off, even when we don’t mean to. The irony is that the busier our lives are, the more we need God, because without him as our oxygen, spiritually we become weak, and we wonder why our faith is so difficult during tough times.
So what I’ve been trying is when I remember I need to pray at home, I do it, and I don’t wait. I’m praying for you to not wait, because although God is always waiting for us with open arms, the time to be loved, to have faith, and to be filled with his grace is now. 🙂