As I push mowed my lawn this weekend, I had a song stuck in my head. It’s called “The Voice of Truth” by a group called Casting Crowns. The first verse goes like this:
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win!”
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.
This song, in case you’re wondering, is referring back to the story of Jesus’ follower named Peter who was invited to step out of a boat in the middle of a sea and walk on water. Quite a feat of faith, if you ask me… even to simply get out of the boat! How many of us would even have the thought. I think the thing about Peter was that he quite often acted before he thought, and while that may also lead to rash, un-thought-out actions, in this case… the guy defied physics, at least for a few seconds.
I like how the song compares the voice of truth with all the other voices calling out to me. In the place I am in life right now, there seems to be more questions than answers. That in itself, I am coming to perceive, is one of those false voices. There are not more questions than there are answers. Some of the questions may not be relevant at all, some of the answers will come in time, and some of it… just isn’t for me to know. So, as the song goes, I must choose to listen and believe the one constant: The Voice of Truth.
As I woke up this morning I had a psalm on my head that I couldn’t placed, so of course, I googled it. It’s from Psalm 121:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Those words are just chock full of the voice of truth, aren’t they? Getting your eyes off the one or two steps in front of you and looking up toward the mountains. Getting your focus off of the next few steps and seeing the bigger picture of the journey, and the destination. Reminding ourself where our help has come from in the past, and being reassured that it will continue to be that way into the future. Reminding myself who that help comes from: not a friend who’s “been there, done that,” a career coach, or a book… the Maker of Heaven and Earth! If God cares for me, and I believe wholeheartedly he does, I can trust that these words are true… tha the won’t let my foot slip on slippery cliffs, that He’s not going to take a break when I need him the most.
The Voice of Truth is telling me several things right now. Many don’t have anything to do with the next few months. The first one, and I love it… is that in 2 weeks, I am going to have a daughter. I am going to have new life in my family. Guaranteed. Bank on it. It’s also told me to take this past weekend off from the stress of things to come, from emails, from strategies, from considerations of the short term future. It’s told me to count on my friends, to be willing to share stuff they may not even “get,” not just because I want their advice, but because I need their companionship. It’s told me that I need not worry. It’s told me that tough decisions may truly be ahead, but that tough does not equal bad.
These are the things that the Voice of Truth is telling me, the things it is reassuring me with. It does not make fear go away, no, not in the least. In fact, it tells fear, “bring it on!” Because I know that when I am afraid, I can trust in my Father. And when I get in that habit of trusting Him, it begins to both couteract existing fears and prevent future ones from taking hold of me, even in the weak points of my life. So I choose to do that. I accept the fact that my life may change, or it may turn out much similar to what it is right now. I accept the fact that decisions made may also affect those around me, from family, to coworkers, to friends, to clients. That’s fine. Because I’m not the one determining my steps. I’m looking to the mountains, listening to the Creator, who cares enough for me to send His Son to die in my place. His care for me has been proven, and I have no doubt in it.
So to me, that’s what the voice of truth means. There’s a little followup to the story of Peter walking on the water that I theorize about a little bit. It’s from a little story told later on in the gospels, after Jesus has died on the cross and been raised from the grave. He comes to see his disciples who are out in a boat fishing again, Peter included. It goes like this:
7Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[b] 9When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. (John 21)
My theory is this. It may or may not be true. I think Peter may have got his second chance to walk on water here. As soon as he heard that Jesus was on the beach, he took off. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t check the depth of the water. He hopped out and ran to his Lord, his Friend, his Savior. Whether he walked on water is not the question here, or the point. What I think the point is, is that he didn’t hesitate. His trust was finally there. He had seen Jesus “show up” for him by being raised from the dead, even after he himself gave up, abandoned Jesus, and even went so far to deny him while He was under trial.
The story of Peter is a great one of a growing faith and trust. He started out a man full of a haughty spirit and false bravery, which Jesus quickly proved empty. He ended up a pioneer of faith, trailblazing a Message that has spread around the world, and Changed. My. Life.
Irreversable Change. There’s no going back. Why would I want to?