Don't Think. Pray.

As we were driving on vacation, we passed a sign on the side of the road, on someone’s porch that said, “Don’t think. Pray.” Since then, I have been reflecting on what that means. As noted in Pastor Dave’s sermon on Sunday, the gospel of Matthew tells the story of Jesus walking on the sea during a storm and the disciples are afraid.

27Buy Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28Peter replied, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out to his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:27-32

As Peter began to think about what was happening (the act of walking on water, the strong wind), he became frightened and began to sink. It is so easy to think about our own circumstances and lose sight of the overall goal (for Peter, perhaps it was to reach Jesus), or lose sight of who is with us.

Our son, Josh, took surf lessons on our vacation this summer. We asked him if it was tough, and if he struggled with any aspect of getting up on the board. (it’s a pretty detailed set of steps: paddle as fast as the wave goes, get up on your knees, put one foot to the back, and one to the front, balance yourself, then stand.) He said it was easy, especially when you didn’t think about it as a sequence of steps, but just a smooth jump to get on top of the board, focused on the end-goal of surfing.

One of my favorite phrases, when I’m feeling that I need control is “Let go – let God! Release and let go, knowing that God is filling my every need.” And, while you’re doing that, include a prayer... let Him know what’s on your mind, so that he can guide you where he wants you to be.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to remember that you are here beside me, guiding me through every step I take each and every day, whether I’m worried, anxious, concerned, happy, or even thrilled about things going on around me. Help me to rely on you, rather than my own thoughts and my need for control. Help me to remember that with you beside me, on this journey, I don’t have to think about the storm around me or the steps I need to take, instead I can focus on the goal. Amen

Sarah Thompson

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