Past failure. It’s often a determiner of future possibilities. How we get up from failure (or don’t) can predict what God can do through us (or not) in the future. Think about Peter. He so desperately wanted to walk on the water with Jesus (Matthew 14:22-32). So he got out of the boat, stepped on that water, and started walking. What?!?!?! That’s incredible faith. Then the waves caught his attention, the storm distracted him, and he took his eyes off of Jesus and started to sink. Jesus called him, “little faith-man”. Ok, he didn’t actually came him names, but, in essence, that’s what he said.
How did Peter respond? Well we don’t hear much from him, except in the very next chapter we find him asking questions (Matthew 15:15). He’s still leaning in, and Jesus isn’t making it easy on him. Often, when faced with failure, we retreat. We go dark. Isolation. “Maybe everyone will forget my failure if they don’t see my face for a couple days.” Instead, Peter stays connected and in chapter 16 he makes one of the most profound statements any disciple of Jesus has ever made (Matthew 16:13-20).
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But this is what I know: nothing good can happen in my life, or the life of our church, if I don’t take a step out of the boat now and again. Great risk brings great reward. Some risks are worth taking.
As a church, God has asked us to extend His life and love to our community in non-traditional ways. Not only our multi-sites, but also investing into retirement communities, prisons, foster-care, individuals who have a dream of changing their community. I can confidently say, that right now, I am more willing to take risks than at any other time in my life, because I know that Jesus will meet us in the middle and breathe His life and love over all that we do. Let today’s fast be a symbol of the willingness you have to risk it all for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ!