We just closed out 2020 and for many of us it was a year we prefer to place far back in the recess of our memories. I agree. For our family, the year was ushered in saying goodbye to our seventeen year old dog and concluded with my husband’s job loss and search for full time employment. In the midst of so many uncertainties, I keep gravitating toward one word. Come.
I can picture Peter, soaked and battered by the storm’s wind and waves. His heart was gripped with fear as his mind and eyes played tricks on him. Needing assurance that the apparition he thought he saw was truly Jesus, he asked Jesus for confirmation of Himself. Jesus answered Peter’s fear with one word. “Come.” To the disciples’ astonishment, he accepted the invitation, left the security of the boat and moved toward the One he knew to be his refuge and protection. Peter had a choice to stay in the boat or step out in faith. As a fisherman, the boat was undoubtedly a familiar and comfortable place. Since Jesus had already walked a considerable distance on the water, He could have taken a few more steps toward Peter. Instead He offered the invitation for Peter to come towards Him. Why? Because responding to the invitation requires faith. Nothing pleases God more than faith.
When I was a child, I accepted by faith His invitation, but like Peter, was gripped by fear. Although fear still tends to be my default, I can almost hear God whisper His invitation to me. My prayer is Psalm 71:3, “Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come.” Not a command to do, not an admonishment to be, but an invitation to move towards Him in simple obedience. Every dawn of a new day, every night of restless sleep, He offers the invitation to come.
Decades have passed and I still come. But now, like Peter and the Psalmist, I don’t come empty handed. “I come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God… and I still declare His wondrous deeds.” I’m a mother of three grown children and Nana to a baby boy who has a God-story of his own. Five generations are represented on my family tree which covers my dining room wall. When my daughter painted the tree, I asked her to include the words, “Your faithfulness endures to all generations.” So often I’m reminded of my past, present and future legacy on the wall filled with photographs. My prayer is to “declare His strength to this generation and His power to all who are to come.”
Will you respond to the invitation and come to Him today? As the old hymn says, “Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come. I come.” He promises when we come, He will give rest- even in the midst of the storm.