I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
See the beginning of the “Stories from Ukraine Series” here.
After a long day of evangelizing out on the streets, I found myself seated on the edge of a cement railing looking-up into the faces of children I had never met. As they offered me their hand, I attempted to speak a few words in Russian as they picked out a temporary tattoo. With their chosen tattoo in hand, the rested their palm in my grip as I allowed the water to soak the temporary ink into just the right spot.
In this brief minute or so, I would look into their eyes. I would look for happiness or sadness. I asked God to show me a way to be His hands and feet in their life today. Few spoke English but many enjoyed the song “Jesus Loves Me.” The translator and I would sing as I learned a few words myself. The child would meet me standing tense but eventually would take in a deep breath, relax and allow the words of this sweet song to wash over them. It was truly amazing to watch (especially that they didn’t run away after I started singing!).
The tattoos I was using during this particular festival had English words such as “faith,” “love,” “Jesus,” and “joy.” My translator helped me learn each word in Russian. Many immediately asked for “Jesus” or “faith” but nobody seemed to want “joy” or “hope.” To me, you can’t get one without the others!
My line ended and I found myself with nobody to engage with while watching balloon swords whirl around at the next booth over. Just as I had decided to befriend our balloon creators, I met her eyes.
Her eyes drooped to the side as if she had been crying.
My heart sank.
Though she was older than most of the kids around, I had to ask if she wanted a tattoo. My translator had ventured over to the balloons so I began to ask her in English. But I was suddenly stopped by English words coming from her lips! In a foreign country, this is a moment of connection!
“I need hope,” she said.
My mind processed that she was referring to the tattoo but my Spirit told me she needed real hope in her heart too.
I paused. Swallowed hard and pleaded with God for guidance.
I placed the “hope” tattoo on her hand and began adding the water. I looked into her eyes and asked her what brought her here today.
She shared that she knew Jesus and that she had invited Him into her heart. But then she stopped. My focus met her eyes again.
With a sigh, she continued, “It’s hard you know. Life. I just need hope. I need…”
And tears began to flow.
I let go of the tattoo and asked God to hold her hurting heart.
At that moment I didn’t need to know what was causing the pain, I simply needed to bring my new friend to the throne of God.
I wrapped my arms around this sweet new friend and in that moment of embrace, I prayed boldly over her. I asked God to comfort her fears. I asked for the hope promised through the death and resurrection of Christ to come in and take over her entire body. I prayed that every morsel or lies, doubts and fears would be washed away. I asked God to call her by name, to sing softly over her and for His presence to be real to her as her heartbeat.
As my prayer ended, I heard a new voice sing over us, “Jesus Loves Me.” It was the voice of my translator singing once in English and once in Russian. All of our eyes were filled with tears.
Tears of Jesus.
Tears of faith.
Tears of joy.
Tears of real hope.
It was a moment I will never forget.
Bethany, hold on to the confession of your hope without wavering, because I am the One who made those promises – and I am reliable. (Hebrews 10:23 CEB)
Bethany, I AM your refuge and your shield; My Word is your source of hope. (Psalms 119:114 NLT)
The hope we have in Christ is a gift that is worth sharing with friends. Life is hard – we are all aware of that fact. Do not allow the circumstances of your day guard you against sharing the life-changing hope that you treasure with someone that needs Him today.
And just in case you were wondering, I still made it over to the balloon sword booth and I had a BLAST! Anyone up for a sword fight?
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
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