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?
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He looked right through the tears smeared over my face.
“Bethany, everything you are feeling is beyond reasonable. The world is moving forward but your world needs a breath of fresh air.”
He was right.
I sank back into my chair, processing his words. This is exactly how most of my coaching clients meet me for the first time. They feel stuck, out of breath trying to move forward and keep up with the demands constantly being pressed against them. I’m usually the one encouraging them, inviting them even to take a season of rest to focus on their soul, their life and who God has called them to be.
For most, it’s an opportunity to do just that. They stop. They look upward to God and see Him speak and move in new ways. They look inward and discover abilities, truths and strongholds they never noticed before. We work together as they move forward in Christ. It’s amazing really because I get to see God work miracles in every single person I walk with.
But here the tables were turned. Here I was the client and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stop. If I could stop.
Sometimes I believe we value more what we do than who God created us to be. We value what we bring to the relationship rather than the relationship itself.
God never created us to DO more. He created us to live as His. To live as His requires these times of stepping away to simply reconnect with Him.
As I wrestled with the idea of dropping a few events and commitments off my calendar, I asked God to prove that He wanted me to do this and honestly, so I didn’t feel like I was just being lazy. I didn’t want to fall behind.
God led me to 1 Kings 19:11-14
11-12 Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.”
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
13-14 When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?” Elijah said it again, “I’ve been working my heart out for God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.” 1 Kings 19:11-14 The Message
Elijah was exhausted. He had literally just seen God wipe-out the prophets of Baal in a mighty way. But here, Elijah felt stuck. His life was being threatened. He felt like no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t escape. Yet, God made Elijah stand still and wait for Him.
Elijah had to be still and even listen to the earthquake, the roar of a blazing fire and the mighty wind of a hurricane before hearing God’s gentle whisper. I think many times we are encouraged to run away from the storm or seek shelter in the storm, but Elijah had to listen through the storm in order to hear the voice of God.
The hardest challenge for us isn’t simply being still, its the ability to face the storms around us and in us until we hear God’s voice. Stopping allows us to really hear God speak. God tells us who we are by displaying who He is. He not only calms the storm, but He walks with us as we discover that some of the storm we have created ourselves.
One of the greatest growth experiences I have had both as a Christian and a life coach is to simply sit before a trained professional like myself and allow God to speak through the stillness. These sessions encouraged and empowered me well beyond any training or conference I have ever attended. Coaches, counselors, ministry staff are all broken, hurting and real too. We need that safe place to be seen, to connect and enter into healing. In my opinion, I will not work with someone who has not been coached or counseled themselves and can share this experience in a real way. Why? Because they can relate to the struggle of stopping life and the reward that awaits in the stillness. It’s not easy and for me, it has been one of the hardest journeys in my life. Yet, I always leave transformed and grace-filled.
Do you struggle with stopping? What is blocking you from being still or seeking coaching in your life?
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!