Friday, December 12, 2014

Dare to Be Great

For years and years, I've had a wrong perspective that it was not okay to want to be great at something (because then it would turn into pride) and I couldn't love or desire things (because then it would become idolatry).  So I've spent my life living small, burying dreams and desires, belittling my gifts and talents, and settling for mediocrity.  I became a water-downed version of me.  I was afraid to be confident in my gifts and strengths out of fear of becoming prideful, so I denied those parts of me and I became insecure, living in and focusing on my weaknesses.

But the other day, I had an epiphany in which a lot of things God has been showing me all kind of clicked.  
The Bible says that we are God's masterpiece, we are His art.  And just as a piece of art is a reflection of its creator, our lives point to and reflect the greatness of our Creator.  We have permission to be great because He created each of us in His image.  So if He is glorious and awesome and amazing, what does that say about me... about you?  
We are also created for a purpose.  And God created me (as well as you!) with gifts and passions, dreams and desires.  He creatively knit all these different interests and talents together in me to make me unique and prepare me to fulfill His specific plans for me.  But when I deny specific parts of me (however big or small), I am denying who He made me to be and not walking in His full purposes for me.  When I shove my dreams and desires down and hold myself back out of fear of pride or idolatry, I am only crippling and limiting myself.  When I bury my strengths and talents under the guise of humility, it is not doing the kingdom of God any favors.  It doesn't glorify Him or benefit others when I remain small and timid, hiding all that He's given me.   
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matt. 5:16
What glorifies Him is when I become who He fully made me to be.  When I allow those dreams and desires to grow and push me to greatness.  When I walk fully in the passions He has planted in my heart.  When I have a dream and go after it.  When I am not afraid to let my life with all my gifts and talents shine brightly for Him.  When I live true to the person He made me to be, not comparing myself with others, needing their approval, or allowing them to put me in a box.  When I stop doubting myself and start believing in myself.  When I start living like He is actually FOR me and not against me.

This epiphany has set me free.  Free to be who He made me to be and know that He is fully supportive of me.  Free to pursue the passions and purposes that are in my heart.  Free to grow and develop them so that I can become all that I was intended to do and be.  Free to live my life in a way that will inspire and bless others, without holding back out of guilt or shame or fear. 
I love what Emily Freeman has to say : "Remember, art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are; when what is most alive in you is offered as a gift to others.  There are no rules for that - no matter if you think your thing is silly or unimportant, the truth is if it's important to you, then you have to pay attention to it.  If you don't we'll all miss out."  
Paul says in Galatians:
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself to others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Gal. 6:4-5 msg.)
I love that because it reminds me to figure out who God made me to be.  What are my specific purposes?  What are the passions He's written on my heart.  What inspires me? And then I just sink myself into doing those things.  It's not about trying to force things out of me that aren't there or be someone or something I'm not.  It's about discovering the gifts and desires that are already inside of me and allowing them to just pour out of me as an offering, as worship, as a blessing to others. It's not about impressing others or comparing myself to others.  It's about being the best me I can be, running the race marked out before me, and following Christ into all the things He has for me.  I think a natural outcome of that will be a life that points to and glorifies Christ.
The unique set of gifts and passions God has put in each one of us are there for a purpose.  We cannot afford to bury them or be afraid of them.  It doesn't matter how small or insignificant your dreams may seem to be.  If it's in your heart, it's there for a reason.  Pursue your passions.  Become all that you were created to be. 
Dare to be great!

Letting Go of Perfection

"After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" (Gal. 3:3)
At some point in my life, I believed the lie that it was my job to work hard at becoming perfect so that God would be pleased with me.  The Bible basically became a giant rule book pointing out every area where I was failing to live up to perfection and showing me where I needed to work harder to make my life look like Jesus' life.  I had absolutely no real understanding of grace.  Oh, I understood I was saved by grace.  We all know that, right?  I knew Jesus' death and resurrection was what got me into heaven, but then I thought the rest of the Christian life was lived by my works and trying really hard to be who Jesus wanted me to be.  I was a Pharisee, a rule-follower, a perfectionist and I didn't even realize it.  And as long as I could keep the "rules" and apply Bible verses to my life, I felt good. I felt like I had favor with God. I felt that I deserved God's goodness, love, blessings, and kindness. The only problem was that I rarely felt like I did well enough, the bar was always too high. Perfection is rarely attainable.  And so when I messed up (even if it was my own perception of me missing some unrealistic expectation), I felt bad and undeserving of His blessings.  I lived in guilt, shame and condemnation and I waited for God's wrath and punishment because that's what I felt like I deserved.  Afterwards, I'd commit to trying harder and doing better which always eventually ended in another failure. It was a nasty cycle of defeat and discouragement.
Can you imagine what a mess of captivity those beliefs leave a person in?  I was bound with weights and burdens that were too heavy for me to carry.  My relationship with God was based on my performance, not His unconditional love, mercy, and goodness.  It wasn't based on what Christ had already done for me and who I am in Him. The gospel I believed was not good news!  It was a chain around my neck.
"Christianity should feel like 'My chains fell off ' not 'I better not screw up." -Justin Buzzard
I lived my life scared to screw up.   
But Galatians 3:3 (at top) is clear.  Just as we didn't come into salvation through our own human effort and works, we don't live this christian life by our own human efforts either.  We receive salvation by grace through faith and we live this life by grace through faith.  We look to Christ for it all. 
Several months ago, I was going round and round trying to fix one of my "imperfections" and getting absolutely nowhere. I applied Bible verses to my situation and still came up short daily.  I was trying so hard and yet continuing to fail.  I prayed and prayed, but the harder I tried, the harder I failed.  The process left me worn out, anxious, frustrated, confused and discouraged.  
One day, in the midst of all this struggling, God showed me a picture of a drowning person, kicking and slapping at the water, just completely wearing themselves out, but getting absolutely nowhere.  Obviously this was a picture of me.   God (my Rescuer) was right there willing to save me, but I had to stop trying to save myself and trust Him to save me (to "fix" the broken, messed up parts of me).  I had to trust in His grace, His goodness and His love, not in my self-effort.  I had to trust that if I stopped "trying to swim", He wouldn't let me drown.  
He was bringing me to the end of myself so that I would begin to learn to rest in Him.  It is Christ that works in me, not me working in me.
"For years, maybe, you have tried fruitlessly to exercise control over yourself, and perhaps this is still your experience; but when once you see the truth, you will recognize that you are indeed powerless to do anything, but that, in setting you aside altogether, God has done it all. Such a discovery brings human striving and self-effort to an end." (Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life)

Letting go of perfection by self-effort and resting in Him has been a hard lesson for me. I'm still learning and I still need reminding.  It is my natural inclination to "work" for my approval and for my own "righteousness".  But that isn't God's way.  His way was and still is Christ, and only Christ.  I am not righteous because of my works, I am righteous because of what Christ has done.  I am not blessed because I do all the right things (whether this is tithing, bible reading, going to church, serving etc...).  I am blessed because of Christ.
Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?  (Col 3, MSG)
Pride says, I can fix myself, I can be righteous, I can make myself better, I can earn God's blessings or approval.  Humility is accepting my own imperfections, accepting my own need of grace, and trusting that Jesus is enough and that He is working out His perfection in me without my help/self-effort.  Resting is total trust in Him and His abilities to perform His will in me.  It is letting go from trusting in myself.  It is letting go of striving and self-analyzing.  It is believing that He has already done it all for me. When Jesus said, "It is finished.", He meant it.  It is accepting that I have already been made righteous and it is a gift, unearned. Resting is "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.".  (Phil. 1:6)

In her book, "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life", Hannah Whitall Smith writes, 'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin.' Surely these words give us the picture of a life and growth far different from the ordinary life and growth of Christians -a life of rest and a growth without effort..  ...  As the violet abides peacefully in its little place, content to receive its daily portion without concerning itself about the wandering of the winds, or the falling of the rain, so must we rest in the present moment as it comes to us from God. We must be contented with our daily portion, without anxious thoughts as to anything that may be whirling around us in God's glorious universe, sure that all things will be made to "prosper" for us.

The One who lifts my head

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, 
my glory, and the One who lifts my head high.  Psalm 3:3

Some days are just hard. Anxieties and fears weigh heavy on our hearts.  Discouragement and despair threaten to overcome us.  The questions are many and the answers don't come.  And the more we fight the flood of negative thoughts and emotions, pushing against them, the more they seem to strengthen and push back, attempting to drown us.  We think if we can just become stronger and fight harder, then we can win the battle.  
But the only answer is to run into the arms of God and find refuge in Him, in His strength, and in His ability to save us. We will never defeat our enemies, we will never overcome our own brokenness or our own depravity in our own power.  
When you are drowning in your own defeat, stop swimming and let God save you.
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head high.  (Ps 3:3)
This morning, Jesus reminded me that "He is the lifter of my head.".  When I cannot lift my own head, when my thoughts swirl in defeat and negativity, when I can't even take my own thoughts captive, I can trust Him to rescue me.  I can wait in hope, knowing that He will lift me out of the pit of my own despair.  Since He promises to lift my head high, I can stop trying to lift my own head and start trusting Him to do it. Ultimately, we are all powerless to rescue ourselves, to climb out of our own pits.  We try.  We try to apply biblical principals to all of our problems and find solutions that work.  But victory is found in trusting Jesus, not in following principles or twelve step programs or doing another Bible study that claims to have all the answers.
Jesus is our Freedom.  Jesus is our Victory.  Jesus is our Rescuer.
The other day, I was reading Psalm 18 and my attention was drawn to what God does for me.
In a nutshell, God does it all.  He reaches down, He rescues,  He draws me out of deep waters, He delivers me, He upholds me, He leads me to safety, He lights up my darkness, He arms me with strength, He makes my way safe, He makes me surefooted, He prepares me, He supports me, He shows me unfailing love. 
It's ALL Him.  He does it ALL.  I just receive.
So often, I try to do all those things for myself.  It's easy to get the impression that living a victorious Christian life is up to us.  If we're not living victoriously, well, then we just need to try harder.  But that is a lie.  It's not the gospel. And often, trying harder is the very thing that traps me and keeps me living defeated, because it keeps me relying on my own strength and not God's strength. I will never be my own savior.
The gospel is about what God does for us, in us, and through us, not about what we do for God.  Living the Christian life is not about trying harder, doing more, or being better.  It's about trusting and receiving the life of Jesus. It's all a gift.  It's not something that can be conjured up by trying harder.  It comes by laying it all down, embracing our own weakness, and by faith letting the life of Christ fill us and uphold us.   
If your head is bent low, if life weighs heavy, if the answers aren't coming, look to Jesus. Let Him lift your head high today. 

Light and Shadows

We're on day 11 of sickness in our family.  I thought we were getting over all the flu and crud and getting better, but this morning, we woke up to two kids with fevers. Ugh.  
In times of trial, I find it hard to see God's goodness. I am even tempted to distrust Him and His love for me.
As, I sat with the Lord this morning, I asked Him for some encouragement.  I needed Him to lift my eyes up, out of the darkness.  I wanted to see His goodness and know His heart for me. 
My eyes were drawn to the giant windows overlooking the wooded area behind my house. As I looked outside, I saw the bright sunshine streaming brilliantly through the trees, dappling everything with light and shadows.  And God whispered into my heart.  He reminded me that His love light is always shining down on me.  And just as one side of the trees were bright with light, the other side was in a shadow. A shadow is just a place where something is blocking the light.  It doesn't mean the light isn't shining. At times, it can be so tempting to just focus on the shadows in our lives and miss all the places that God's love is shining so brightly.  His love is always shining, we just have to look for it.  
And then He reminded me of this verse
"Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief,your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!" Matt. 6:22-23 MSG

That verse is so true.  When I look for the light of God's love and goodness in my life, I see it and it fills my soul up with light and love.  But when I shut out the light and just look at the shadows, I am plunged into darkness, doubt, and despair.
That is why God tells us to "give thanks in all circumstances".  It keeps our eyes on the light.  It opens our eyes and our soul to receive His love.  So today, by God's grace, I will remember to open my eyes wide in wonder and belief. I will count my blessings.  And I will believe that His love light is ALWAYS shining down on me.

Take off your sandals

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do? The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told. (Joshua 5:13-15)  
 We don't know exactly what Joshua was feeling as he approached the city of Jericho, but I would imagine that maybe he wasn't feeling so strong and courageous that day.  This was, after all, his first battle as the newly appointed leader of the Israelites.  And he'd been wandering in the wilderness for the last forty years eating manna, so his warrior skills were probably out of practice and maybe not so sharp.  But God shows up that day to give Joshua a little confidence as He leads the Israelites in to fight for their Promised Land.  God basically says to him, "I'm here.  My warrior angels are here too and we're ready to fight.  So take off your sandals, cause I'm the Commander and I'm in charge, not you.  This is my battle, not yours. And this ground is holy because I have already gone before you and claimed this territory for you."
Back then, taking off your sandals was a symbolic way of yielding to a higher authority, so Joshua did as he was told.
As we move in towards our own Jerichos and Promised Lands, it can be hard not to buckle to doubt, fear, and discouragement.  The enemy throws his fiery darts of fear or worry and immediately there is an increased temptation to move out of simple peace and trust.  Emotions start reeling and thoughts start spinning.  Panic and doubt rise.  We don't feel strong and we don't feel courageous. And all of a sudden, defeating Jericho and entering in to our Promised Land feels impossible.  
But in those moments, God says the same thing to us that He said to Joshua,  "Take off your sandals. I am here and I am in charge of this battleThis is my fight, not yours. I am the Commander of an army of angels and we are here to wage war on Jericho and take you in to your Promised Land."  
Let those words sink in to your heart and feel the relief and assurance it brings.  Your powerful, Almighty God is here!  This is His fight, not yours!  He is in charge, so you don't have to be. Take off your sandals and trust Him to lead you in to victory.
In Exodus 14:14, it says,"The Lord will fight for you: you need only to be still." The NLT version says, "Just stay calm."   
I believe understanding this principle that God fights for you and resting in it's truth is a huge key in seeing victories in your life.
Isaiah 30:15 says, "Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved.  In quietness and confidence is your strength."  If you are under the enemy's attack or moving out to take possession of the new thing God is leading you into, it is so important to remember that God is fighting for you.  Be still.  Stay calm.  Wait on the Lord. Your strength for the battle comes when your heart is quietly, confidently trusting in God. 
The next verse says, "But you would have none of it.  You said, 'No, we will get our help from Egypt.  They will give us swift horses for riding into battle. 'But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!'"
The enemy will do everything in his power to get you out of peace and into anxiously fighting in your own strength and willpower.  And when we desperately turn to other things, other people, or even to our own strength to save us, we will probably end up spending a lot of time running from our enemies.  Your ability to stand firm in the battle is found in knowing that God is fighting for you. 
There is a deep rest, an inner stillness, a confidence and peace, that comes when you know and believe that God in on the scene and He is fighting for you.  You don't have to figure it all out, make things happen, or strategize your path to victory. You don't have to be strong or have the best weapons.  You just need to know that God fights for you and that the battle belongs to Him!  
Take off your sandals, release control of the situation, and stand firm in that truth!
"And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue His people.  It is His battle, not ours.  The Lord will give you to us!" (David to Goliath in 1 Samuel 17)
This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's... Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord's victory." (2 Chronicles 20)
The Lord fought for Israel that day. (Joshua 10:14)
For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children... All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. (Isaiah 49: 25-26)
But I said to you, 'Don't be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you.  He will fight for you,just as you saw Him do in Egypt.' (Deut. 1:29-30)
The Bible is clear.  God fights for His children.  And He is waging war in your defense and on your behalf.  He will not fail you, nor let you be defeated.  Remember His promises to you.  Remember the times He's fought for you in the past.  Look into His eyes and see that He is good.  Look into His heart and remember how much He loves you.  His plans and purposes for you are good. He is your ever present help in times of trouble.  And He stands beside you as a great and mighty warrior, fighting for you.  
Take off your sandals, you're on holy ground!

Entering His Rest

God's promise of entering His place of rest still stands... For this Good News - that God has prepared a place of rest - has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't believe what God told them. For only we who believe can enter His rest.  Hebrews 4: 1,2-3
On the first go round, the Israelites didn't enter the Promised Land because they didn't believe God's promise to defeat their enemies. I think God offers each of us a Promised Land, a place where we see the fulfillment of the promises and dreams that He's planted in our hearts.  But much like Joshua and the Israelites, the journey to our Promised land is where our faith is tested and our battles are fought. And it's in this place where it's tempting to get out of trust and peace and into fear, worry, and striving. But even in the midst of the (sometimes long) journey and the constant battles, even before we see the fulfillment of the promises, God offers us a place of rest.  And we enter into this rest only by believing. 
I love what Justin Dorroh says about faith and rest:
"I’m rediscovering that real faith is a by-product of resting (read peaceful trust) in God’s promises. Therefore, fighting and wrestling to believe God is not the good fight of faith. In other words faith is not a wrestle match with God to pump up belief. Rather faith is sinking into the promises of God and recognizing God’s confidence in His ability to perform His word as your firm conviction. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a process which feels like wrestling. But that process is NOT about you mustering up faith. 
That process is about ceasing from your own efforts at faith and learning to lean and trust only in Him. That wrestling is God convincing us that He can do it in and through us and doesn't need our strength."
Rest comes when we learn to cease striving and sink into God. When we begin anxiously trying to solve our own problems or attempt to figure things out apart from God's wisdom and revelation, we have actually come out of rest (believing) and moved into works of the flesh (striving). We have stopped trusting in God's ability to fulfill His own promises and purposes and started looking to our own ability to bring about their fulfillment.
 "...when it comes to our areas of concern, our human efforts to solve our problems, despite the best of intentions, cannot produce results that are as beautiful as if we were to allow God’s wisdom and timing to do it. It’s when we rest from our self-efforts and struggles to solve our problems, and allow God to work in us and through us, that we see divine results. I’ve often said this: If God wants all the glory, then allow Him to do all the work." (Joseph Prince)
Remember Abraham and Sarah?  Ishmael was born out of self-effort.  Isaac was born as the fulfillment of a promise.  Our striving and self-effort can never bring about the fulfillment of God's promises because in God's kingdom, we receive through faith, what we could never earn through our own effort. 
By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what He said.  Heb. 11:11
I love this verse because it makes it clear that Sarah's natural circumstances were utterly impossible.  Even in the prime of her life she had never bore a child and now here she was an old woman, way past child-bearing years, and God promises her a child from her own womb.  This verse reminds me not to look at my natural circumstances or my weaknesses, but instead to just believe that the One who made the promise will do what He said.  God doesn't lie and He is fully capable to accomplish His purposes. Our part is just to believe and abide in Him as He works things out in our lives. This is rest
Even the battles we face can be fought from a place of resting in God.  For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. (1 John 5:4)  No matter what comes against us, we can stand firm and our hearts and minds can remain steadfast knowing that He has already secured our victory.  Our victory is found in Him, not in ourselves.  It's in His strength, not in how hard we fight.   
Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me (Isaiah 30:15 MSG)
Rest comes when we know and believe that these battles are His (2 Chron. 2: 15)  and many times our position is just to stand still and watch the LORD rescue us (Ex 14:13).
There is such Good News in this!  It means we don't have to be strong.  We don't have to figure things out or make things happen.  He has supplied it all and He does it all.  It means we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and back onto Him.  It's all Him.  It's all grace.  Whatever we lack, He supplies. And the more we can recognize that, the more we enter into resting in Him in every area of our lives.
"Come to me, all you who are weary (labor) and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)

The In-Between

After the Lord rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians, they found themselves in the wilderness.  The Lord promised them that He would give them the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, and He told Moses to send one leader from each of the twelve tribes to go explore the land. When the leaders came back, ten out of twelve of them came back with discouraging reports.  Only Joshua and Caleb had the faith that God could bring them safely into the promised land.  Everyone else doubted God. They said that they didn't stand a chance because the people in the land were giants, so much bigger and stronger than they themselves were. 
"Then all the people (the Israelites) began weeping aloud, and they cried all night... 'We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!' they wailed. 'Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle?  Our wives and  little ones will be carried off as slaves!  Let's get out of here and return to Egypt!" Numbers 14:1-3
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'How long will these people reject me?  Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?'" Numbers 14:11
Sometimes, God moves mightily to deliver us out of a situation.  He may even plant big promises in our hearts about what He has for us next.  We get excited because we've see His hand move, we've been delivered!  But then, we find ourselves waiting in the wilderness.  And maybe while we're there waiting, things actually start to look worse.  The wilderness doesn't exactly feel like freedom.  Living in the wilderness is hard.  There is no abundance in wilderness living.  It's just survival.  Our faith is tested daily and the mountains blocking our way out of the wilderness seem insurmountable.  
God has taken us out, but He hasn't yet taken us in.  And we feel stuck in the in-between.
At that moment, it is tempting to want to go back to "Egypt".  We reason that things were easier there.  It was easier being a slave than wandering tirelessly through the wilderness.  And now, there are giants up ahead and we feel a little bit too much like grasshoppers to face them.  Discouragement, doubt and fear set in.  We panic. The battles seem too big.  Our faith is tested. Will God really do what He promised?  What if our battles overtake us?  What if He just leaves us here wandering, only to die in the wilderness?   
It reminds me of another story...
"As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, 'Let's cross to the other side of the lake.'... But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water.  Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they (the disciples) woke him up, shouting, 'Teacher, don't you even care that we are going to drown?' When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, 'Quiet down!' Suddenly, the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. And he asked them, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?' " Mark 8:35-40
The disciples were in a very similar situation as the Israelites.  Like the Israelites in the wilderness, the disciples were also stuck in the in-between. They had been taken out, but not yet taken in.  Jesus had told them to get in the boat to cross to the other side, so they obeyed.  But then they found themselves facing a very life-threatening and scary storm in the middle of the lake.   And just like the Israelites, they panicked.  They doubted the One who saves.
It's there in the middle, when the storms rage and  the giants taunt us, where our faith is tested.  Questions full of doubt and panic flood our minds. Will Jesus really get me to the other side like he said?  What if he just lets me drown?!  Will God fight my battles and defeat my giants like He promised?  Will He really bring me into my promised land?  
And it's during these times in the in-between that Jesus whispers the same thing to us as he did to the disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?
It's the same thing God said to the Israelites, "Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?"
It's there in the in-between that we must remember who our God is.  We serve a faithful and a mighty God.  A Savior. A Rescuer. He's the God of  miracles and He's faithful to fulfill all His promises.   We must remind ourselves that He doesn't part the sea while taking us out only to leave us wandering in the wilderness and facing giants alone. And He would never tell us to get into the boat to cross to the other side only to let us drown in the middle of the lake.  These storms and battles that we face belong to Him.  And He is mighty to save.
"When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you safely out of Egypt, is with you! ... Do not be afraid... Do not lose heart or panic. For the Lord your God is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you the victory," Deut. 20:1,3-4