Within Arms Reach by Desiree Burgos

I meet Desiree about a year ago through mutual friends. Jesus had a plan for us to get aquatinted and to become friends. We live about an hour and a half away from each other but that doesn't stop up from connecting. I am blessed to have her in my life. I feel so peaceful around her. I wish that I was half of the mother that she is at her age. She has so much patience and love for her kids and she has 3 tiny ones. If you have any questions about babies to todlers, please find her on social media and contact her, she has a lot of wisdom. She really is someone to look up to. I am so glad that she accepted to write this blog. Welcome to the platform Desiree. 

One Saturday evening in October, I was not feeling that well. My plan was to not go to church the next morning but in my prayers before falling asleep; I told God that if He really wanted me to be at church – and I mean really REALLY wanted me to be there the next morning then He was going to have to wake me up at 7AM to be able to leave out the door for church on time. I even decided to not set my alarm. I was awoken the next day from the loud noises of my sons jumping up and down on their crib mattresses. This was different because at that time I had to wake them up for church on Sundays (by the way, those days are way over), so I figured it was way past 7AM. That is, until I pressed the home button on my IPhone revealing 7:00 AM on the top of the screen. Because He wanted me to go; I got up and made my way to church. At that very worship service I was able to encounter alongside my oldest son, Daniel, God’s mighty power in a way that I had never experienced prior. 

 

 

In which would have never happened if I had not spontaneously requested the power of God in what seemed at the time something so frivolous. Have you ever requested God’s power in such a way? Peter had.

            “Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14: 24-31 (Christian Standard Bible)

Peter hastily requested Jesus to order him to come out into the water to him. And did not Jesus do it? “Come.” Sometimes we request things that we think are too crazy to actually happen and when God shows you His power in that way, we doubt. We second guess. We question. Had Peter not requested, would he have ever been able the opportunity to encounter God in that form?

            When reading this passage, another part that seems to have been sticking plainly out at me more than ever before is Matthew 14:31, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (CSB) All Jesus had to do was reach out His hand to catch Peter. Jesus was THAT close to Peter that all He had to do was reach out His hand. (Reach out your hand to get a visual of just how close they were.) The Bible does not exactly tell us what Jesus was doing after He told Peter to come to Him. What I am beginning to learn about pieces that do not say exactly everything or every detail; it gives us the opportunity to grow deeper in our relationship with God, who He is, and what He speaks to us. The verse that then came to mind is James 4:8, “come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (New Living Translation) To me, maybe Jesus was walking towards Peter while Peter was walking towards Him. As soon as Peter’s first foot swung over the boat’s side and hit the water; Jesus took a step closer. With every step that Peter took Jesus took another. And then when Peter let the circumstances and the situations of life (the wind) push him to the left and to the right within his faith; Jesus was right there to catch him. Just as He is right here for you and for me. When we begin to doubt, fear, and worry. When we are on the mountain tops and we are in the valleys. When we make good choices and when we make not so good choices.

            It is looking through the films of being a mama to three small children that this reminds me of how near my children want to be to me. Whether it is playing with blocks on the floor in front of the couch where my feet are dangling, the wheeling of Hot Wheels cars up my arm, through my hair, and down the other arm because I am assuming the role as “mountain”, or running in circles around my room playing tag while I sit here and write this. Just so that if their block tower falls, they drop their Hot Wheels, or they trip and fall; they know I am near to help them rebuild, pick up, and try again. Peter wanted to be near Jesus. Just as near as we long to be near Him. Our children want to be near us. God wants to be near all of us, too. Not because He needs us like we need Him but because He loves us deeply. Just as I am an arm’s reach away ready to catch them while they are taking their first steps. God is always right there, ready to catch me. Ready to catch you. He’s never too far. Not even for a moment.