Breathtaking beauty in unsettling times

A mandarin duck

There are so many choices to make every day. So often I want to make the safe choice, to do less, to hide. It seems so tempting. There are times when this is what we need to do, in order to heal.

But I also think there are times when God calls us to go out, to make that change, to speak when it is unpopular, to take that next step.

I am reminded of Jesus saying to Peter out on the boat ‘come!’ So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on water, and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out ‘Lord, save me’. Immediately Jesus extended his hand to him and caught him.’ Matthew 14: 29-31a

It was night, and when Peter saw Jesus walk on water, he wanted to join him. When he was focused on Jesus he could do it, but when he doubted and got frightened he sank. Even then, Jesus caught him- immediately. What compassion and grace.

I had heard there were mandarin ducks in the area, and I thought I will never see any, it is not worth trying. Another part of me thought I will never know if I don’t try. And so I went out, and found this beautiful bird on the river! When I found the motivation to try, I found the very thing I sought.

Now I am not saying that every time we try, we will find what we are looking for. But I am saying that if we don’t try, we won’t find it. So sometimes like Peter, we need to have the courage to try, and we might just find the very thing we seek.

Gracious and patient God, You are so good to us, and You understand us when we feel negative and unmotivated, times when we give up trying. Lord Jesus, thankyou that You speak to us and remind is to come, and that good things are still possible, even moments of breathing beauty and kindness. In unsettling days, may Your holy spirit give us courage to get out of our boat, and to seek new adventures, and to continue to trust in Your good purposes. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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