Today’s Author: Julene Hawkins

I spent a short moment of this morning, sitting with a mug of warm tea in my hands, thinking about the incessant worrying I’ve been doing lately. So much of my world, and honestly the whole world, has changed. And I have had a lot of big feelings about it, most of which I have not been able to sort out yet.  For years, I have struggled with anxiety, exacerbated by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness for the world burning, and climate change, and the uncertainties of tomorrow, and capitalism, and unequal wealth distribution, and poverty, and homelessness, and violence, and rampant racism killing BIPOC, and those struggling with mental health issues, and addiction, and cancer, and those caring for ill loved ones, and burnout, and COVID-19, and health disparities, and on and on the list goes. I can feel the weight of the world’s pain and grief absorb into my soul, sinking deeper and deeper. 

Photo by Polina Kuzovkova on Unsplash

As I reflect on what all of this means from a faith perspective, I am sitting with this past week’s message (Matthew 14:22-33). The disciples are sitting in a boat, terrified that they see a ghost when Jesus says it is him and there is no need to be afraid. Peter, being rightfully skeptical, asks Jesus to prove it (I am pretty sure I would have made Jesus prove it too). And so Jesus commands Peter to walk out onto the water with him, and Peter starts to. Then the fear settles in and Peter begins to flail and sink. Jesus reached out to Peter, grabbed his hand, and said “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”. In the passage, Peter never answers the question, but I can infer the doubt because I sink with fear every day. However, like Peter, I too find God in the sinking moments of my fear.  

Recently, my therapist and I have been working on holding space for my anxiety and thanking it for making me aware. Through these gratitude exercises, I have come to know that our concerns and worries are a part of God’s plan to awaken us to ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, and the planet as a whole. When we are aware of our environment, we don’t miss the calls to action right in front of us. So while we sink deeper, may the waters make us aware of the needs around us and bring us to a place of action. 

What uncertainties, concerns, and worries are on your heart and mind today? 

Why is God making you aware of these concerns and worries? 

Who is impacted? 

Where is God in the midst of it all? 

How are you called into action? 

Hey God, amid our anxiety, our fears, and in times of little faith, be with us. Help us to use our fears as a call to action to provide solutions, guidance, support, and accompaniment out into our communities. May our sinking create a place of knowing and allow us to go forward as your disciples, spreading justice and peace to the earth and all your people. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday contact Pastor Peter.