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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In the middle of a crazy morning, his eyes looked with crazy excitement into mine and he reached in to grasp my right hand. The same hand that helped me write the words in the Toastmasters International magazine article that had just been publicly released 2 days earlier. I honestly should have seen this coming, but I missed all the cautionary yellow lights that morning.
Here I stood, encircled by the kids of the Watoto children’s choir from Uganda, Africa. The kids had just joined our worship team on stage as we led worship together singing songs like “Be Lifted” and “Good Good Father.” They sang with such vivid expression, it made me feel right at home. As I played the drums in front of me, I just felt energized by the entire worship set. It was if the Spirit had come in and breathed new life into my exhausted body.
It was greeting time – you know, those few sometimes awkward minutes when you are asked to “go greet someone you may not know.” Why is it that this time strikes me with the excitement of being noticed and also the exact fear of being noticed as well? Each time this occurs, I seriously spot out my target of “safety” and plan my route of navigation. I almost never reach my target (and honestly, I think God intends it this way). This forces me outside of my comfort zone each week and inadvertently allows me to connect with others I would normally not have noticed. God truly makes no mistakes.
But this Sunday, I found myself right next to the Watoto choir! I met eyes with a boy sitting in the front row.
He immediately smiled back and he did his best to drum in mid-air. His smile was so inviting. I made my way over.
We started talking. I shared my name and the other kids from the choir immediately circled around.
“Is that your real hand?” one little girl asked.
I literally laughed out loud. I’ve heard so many questions from kids and adults – but that was a new one.
“Yes,” I responded. “I was born with a short right arm and a smaller right hand…”
Before I could finish the same boy, who had caught my attention earlier spoke-up “and you play the drums!”
He even moved his hands in the air like a professional drummer – smiling ear to ear.
“Yes, these crazy people actually let me play drums here for worship!” I replied.
“They are not crazy,” another boy chirped up, “you are good! Can you play more?”
By this time, I was literally in the middle of the group. I’m sure there was some amazing fellowship going on around me, but I missed it all. This was surreal! I was loving every single second just connecting with these kids! I love how they are drawn in by the very thing that actually pushes some adults away. Kids aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions. They just go deep and they can fearlessly stay there! I love this!
My air-drumming friend approached me with even more excitement in his eyes. I honestly was a bit fearful at what would come out of his mouth next. He said, “Can I hold it?” as he pointed to my right hand.
I laughed. Here this kid stood actually wanting to hold my hand – asking to hold my hand?! Somehow, my presence just being there at that moment was encouraging and inspiring to them. God had orchestrated this specific gesture before time even began. God knew even through an article and an award-winning speech; my right hand can still be a source of shame in my life. No, the battle is not nearly as fierce as it once was, but I still have my moments. The stronghold is definitely present but fiercely weakening.
God saw all of this and here I stood with kids with life experiences I can’t even begin to relate to personally. Yet, here we were, holding hands.
He wasn’t fearful at all. He grasped my hand with both of his hands. His face looked like he had just been handed an award. Pure joy. I’ll never forget that moment. I’ll never forget how excited all of the kids were when this happened. I’ll never forget the joy that just invaded our little circle. It just melted everything else away.
Bethany, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
So now Bethany, you can be glad to boast about your weaknesses, so that My power can work through you.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
I will never understand why God decided to make my right arm and hand the way that He did. But I do understand that God allows me to be exactly who He created me to be. Living freely who I am in Christ allows others to simply see Christ in me. That is more than enough to make life exciting and worth living to the full. In this sweet circle, an exchange occurred. We both saw glimpses of Christ in one another. Everyone left encouraged marveling at the power of God.
My boys have asked me to take them to Africa now. We will see what God decides to do with that!
In the meantime, never be afraid to reach your hand out to a stranger and let them see Christ in you. Never underestimate the power of God!
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
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!