Getting Out of the Boat


“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.” ‘Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,” he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ “- Matthew 14:27-31

When moving, switching schools, meeting a new group of people, or the like, people often tell you to ‘get out of your comfort zone.’ When I started fieldwork at St. John’s Lutheran Church in LaGrange, Illinois, during my time at Concordia, I was told that phrase multiple time by a multitude of people. It honestly became annoying and redundant, and I began to think people had thought I had never heard of the concept before.
The problem was not that I didn’t know I needed to get out of my comfort zone, the problem was  I didn’t want to get out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t trying to be a difficult person, but I liked my comfort zone. I was comfortable working with high school youth and that is where I was perfectly content staying. My comfort zone was where I was good, and at the time, I didn’t think I needed to learn anything else. No surprise here, but I was wrong.
In fieldwork, stepping out of my boat was more of a shove because of certain requirements, but it did still help me grow. I began to grow in the areas where I was not as comfortable working in once. I accepted that they were not my comfort zone. Eventually some of those areas even became part of my comfort zone. My comfort zone widened when I was able to step out of my boat and rely on God to help me stay afloat. His wisdom surrounded me, and He began to prepare me for my ministry.
Through fieldwork I learned I needed to step out of my own boat for God’s hand is constantly guiding me. If I constantly stay in my comfort zone, God will never be able to fully build my character for the ministry he is equipping me for. Am I perfect in remembering this? Absolutely not! I have faltered and failed many times this summer. My brain goes from being so excited and focused on God to worrying about how I’m going to complete the littlest of details. How am I going to raise funds? What am I going to pack? What if I run out of bug spray? Am I going to need a haircut while I’m in Paraguay? How do you say “water, no ice” in Spanish? Some worries may seem more legitimate than others, but really they are all concerns that God has control of. I’m on the water walking, but then I lose my focus and begin to see the storm. Jesus constantly keeps having to catch me and ask me why I’m doubting, then He shows His strength.
I am human. I am a sinner. I fail. God rescues me. God keeps me above the water and will not let me sink. He knows the plans that He has for me. He knows how He is going to use me. I know I will see the storm around me, but God will lead me when my feet fail.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go to a Hillsong United concert while I was in the Chicago area. I had heard their song “Oceans” before, but I had never taken the time to really think about the words. I encourage you to take a minute or two to read through these words and spend some time with God, listening to His voice above the storm.

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”   – Click Here to Listen to “Oceans”
by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Please consider stopping by or inviting me for an open date! Questions? Contact me at

August 31st- Mt. Calvary in Fort Wayne, IN. Presentation 9:30 AM, Worship at 8:00 & 10:45 AM

September 4th- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, IN. Worship 7:00 PM

September 6th- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, IN. Worship at 6:00 PM

September 7th- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, IN. Worship at 8:00 & 10:45 AM, Education Hour at 9:45 AM.

September 14th- OPEN
September 21st- OPEN
September 28th- OPEN