Tonight we had a great night at church with the youth.  Chad spoke just as he does every wednesday night - its really good so you should definitely come.  But that's really not the point because tonight Chad brought up something that completely astounded me.  We were talking about Jesus walking on water and Peter leaving the boat, walking on water, and "seeing the wind" at which time Peter began to sink.  I had never really thought about the fact that Jesus helped Peter up, and the two of them walked back to the boat side by side. (Thanks Chad)  Sometimes... okay most of the time, I get caught up in the constant reminder of just how imperfect I am.  I hate to fail, and yet failing is the one thing I never have to worry about being consistent at.  I do find hope in the fact that Peter, one of Jesus' disciples failed quite a bit in Scripture and still wrote part of what we consider Scripture and is still a major figure in Christian history.  Based on Peter's many examples, we can fail and get past it. Hello, rocking my little world right now.

The big deal to me was the getting back up and continuing side by side with Jesus.  Two reasons this rocked my world -
1. I tend to try to do everything without asking for help which is most often when I fail.  I have learned recently from experience that life is so much sweeter when you walk side by side with Jesus.  Accepting that I have fallen, I reach for His hand and ask that He lead me and "make my paths straight."(Psalm 3:5-6)
2. I love a good "phoenix" story - you know getting up after you have fallen and making something of yourself.  I also know that I have been there, there being flat on my face with nowhere to go but to God.  It was there that He met me with arms outstretched offering love and grace instead of hate and "I told you so."  It was also there that He picked me up and made something of me. In Isaiah 62, God calls His church Hepzhibah which means "my delight is in you."  I heard Him tell me that I am His (Is 43) and that He has me inscribed in the palm of His hand.(Is 49)

For most of my life, I heard people saying that God should be and can be your everything, that He loves you, wants you to love Him in return, desires relationship, and longs to woo you to Himself.  I also heard people say that to know Him you must know His character.  Which it sounds almost elementary to me now because "duh" you have to know someone to love them.  I began by simply saying that I wanted Him to be my everything.  I have believed in Jesus for a very long time, but never really understood what all of this really looked in my life.  I then asked Him to reveal Himself to me that I may know Him, and I began a Bible study designed specifically for that.  I wanted to fall in love with Jesus so I began to seek Him.  Can I tell you that I fell more in love everyday.  It was amazing to me that He really did pursue me and love me.  He is our Shepherd, our Lord, our El Shaddai - which is not just a slightly weird song.  El Shaddai literally means "motherly."  Nobody loves you like a mama except God because that is part of His character.  I get so excited when I think about this so I will stop now or I will write an even longer book.  (It's just awesome though!!!)  While we were at youth camp with the girls, I realized that I would rather have this life with Jesus than any amount of money or any job or any amount of security.  You can read more in depth about that discovery here.

All of this to say that how you live - your actions and reactions are choices.  You have the choice to be the victim type that never gets out of the water after sinking or you can reach for His hand, get up, and walk side by side with Him.  Also, you want to walk side by side with Him because He loves you unconditionally forever no matter what AMEN!  That peace that passes all understanding really does pass all understanding and comprehension.  It's difficult to explain - it's just something you know. 

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