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What to Do When You Are Afraid of Trying

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

It is hard to get up and venture into the unknown especially when you are holed up in a place of comfort. Where you are may not be perfect or ideal, but it sure does keep your feet on the ground. It becomes a challenge if what is calling you out does not appear to offer a more solid footing.

I like the story told in Matthew 14 of how Jesus's disciples got into an unfavourable sea condition one night. Unpleasant things really have a way of showing up at odd times. Waves and a strong wind were rocking their boat. But despite the storms outside, the boat was still the safest bet for survival.

When Jesus started walking towards the boat, fear turned to hope, and hope started calling Peter to do something out of the ordinary. The same way the storm showed up in your life without permission, the extraordinary can call you out right in the middle of the same storm.

You can either stay back in the boat and watch life go by or you can get up and respond to the call of faith. You can stay back and blame the storm for holding you down. You can sit back and wait for the storm to cease. This is where Peter sets himself apart from the rest.

The man who will not stay back

Peter often gets a bad rap for becoming afraid and almost getting himself drowned.

But he doesn't get enough credit for being the only person who stepped out of the boat. Peter was the only occupant of the boat who accepted the challenge to walk on water.

The other folks in the boat heard the same invitation and felt the same fear. But their inactions betrayed their faith. The same opportunities and resources with a similar set of limitations would not always lead to similar outcomes. This is why people can come from a poor community and still thrive. It is possible to overcome unfavourable circumstances to chart a new course in life.

Those who will do great things will have to dare greatly. They will see opportunities where others see impossibilities. They know how to run with instructions and take actions in due season (Matthew 14:29). They know when the answer is “yes” even if all they have heard for ten years has been “no.” They can decipher when a door of exploits is open to them. They can smell peace in the midst of a storm.

Those who do great things can sense when they have one leg in trouble and one leg on the edge of glory.

What it means to get off the boat

Getting off the boat means risking failure. It also means showing up so that success can find you. It means putting yourself forward for the extraordinary.

If you don't risk drowning, you don't have a chance to walk on water, even if it is for a moment. It is better you attempted and failed than for fear to ground you.

You cannot experience the joy of walking on water side by side with the Saviour if you haven't experienced the sinking feeling of failure and the powerful hand of the Lord lifting you up.

Spectators and commentators

When you step out of the boat, don't expect anyone to cheer you on. If you listen hard enough, you may hear comments that will stop you in your tracks. Because talk is cheap, anyone can slip into your side-lines close enough to influence your game.

The Italian football legend, Roberto Baggio would not get involved in football punditry. He considers it unfair to sit back in the comfort of a TV or Radio studio to critique why a player played or failed to play a certain way.

Baggio understands the pressure of performing in front of thousands and millions more on TV. He knows it is easier to comment as an observer than to get into the action yourself.

Tens of thousands of people can sit in the arena. Only a few folks get to play the game. If you want to walk on water, you must turn your back on the spectators and keep your eyes on the ball.

Would you step out?

Would you step out into a new relationship or marriage? Would you start that business? Are you ready to raise your hand for that new role?

Is it possible you are holding back putting actions on your faith in God for fear of the crowd in the boat? You are afraid of what the spectators would say. If God is asking you to come, don't hesitate anymore. You have back up, just go!

Don't allow fear to hold you back from trying to maximize your potentials and opportunities. It does not matter if everybody is holding out in the safety of the boat. Step out and look forward, your back up is in front of you.

In conclusion, ask God to help you to hear when He calls you to step out, and to give you the courage to move forward.


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