Step Out of the Boat

I have this fear of calling churches with phone numbers outside my area code. It’s the dread of making a cold call. Even when I have a referral for a speaking engagement, I don’t look forward to the conversation—because I might face rejection. 

Then the thought of traveling, especially boarding an airplane alone, with just my guide dog and me, causes me to shudder.

But do you know what makes me lose any fragment of courage? This thought: What if they say yes? What if I really have to stand on that stage and speak to a large crowd? 

Each day when I plan to work on my speaking ministry, time gets away from me, and I rarely make those calls. Maybe next week I’ll make those connections, but the only way that will happen is if I put it at the top of my list. So that is my next step.

Peter had confidence in the middle of his anxiety. 

Of all the disciples cowering in that tiny storm-tossed boat, Peter was the only one who dared to ask Jesus, “Tell me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) I’m still in the boat clinging to the side with white knuckles.

When the wind and waves arose, the disciples feared the storm, until they saw a ghostly figure coming toward them (Matt. 14:26). 

Jesus meets us in our storms, so look for Him

When Jesus told Peter to join Him on the sea, Peter didn’t hesitate. He invites us to join Him, too.

 Bravery feels risky, but it’s worth it.

It takes more courage to step out of the boat than it does to walk on water. 

After Peter looked for Jesus, he locked eyes on Him. He climbed down out of the boat, and began walking on the water. What an experience Peter shared with Jesus!

Then a fierce wind blew and waves splashed against Peter, and he took his eyes off Jesus. Peter began to sink.

“Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). Immediately, Jesus grabbed Peter’s hand and rescued him.

Sinking is frightening, but it can lead to strength.

Sinking can scare us, but our moments of sinking have the potential of becoming moments of strengthening. Peter might have started to sink, but he didn’t drown!

We will stumble, we will fall, and yes, we may even fail, but that experience strengthens us as we use what we’ve learned to become better writers, speakers, and leaders.

The Bible tells us Peter and Jesus got in the boat, but how did they get there? I don’t think they swam. I believe Peter linked arms with Jesus, and they walked over the waves back to the boat. 

Once back in the boat, Jesus calmed the storm, not while they were still walking on the water.

What is God calling you to do? Is it a new area of ministry? Maybe it’s writing a book, teaching upcoming writers, or calling those churches with different area codes. Whatever it is, what’s keeping you in the boat?

Look for Jesus in your sea of doubt, lock eyes with Him, and then link arms with Him. When we take that next step with Jesus by our side, we can walk all over that doubt and fear.

Question: What is the first step you need to take to follow your calling?

Keep reading our other posts:

6 Comments

  1. PAMela G Mutz on 2022-09-21 at 11:00 AM

    Carolyn,
    You hit the nail on the head. What am I putting off doing that not only leads me into deeper trust, but obedience to God? My husband calls it “the dark cloud” of the day. Take care of that dark cloud and begin to feel freedom and…..walk on water! THANK YOU Sis!

  2. Yvonne Ortega on 2022-09-20 at 2:30 PM

    Carolyn Dale Newell, thank you so much for reminding me that what I do I do with God’s help. Back to the cold calls and cold email.

    Love & Prayers,
    Yvonne Ortega

  3. Carol Kent on 2022-09-20 at 9:18 AM

    Thank you for reminding all of us who write, speak, or lead to risk feeling uncomfortable, and to move forward in our ministries with God’s help!

Leave a Comment





Gain the tools needed to grow in an ever-changing industry.

Learn from ministry leaders like Jill Savage, Bruce Martin, Cindy Bultema, and many more.