Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Jenny B. Jones, She Reads Featured Author

"'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus." Matthew 14:29 (NIV)

Who doesn't like to be safe?

While writing Just Between You and Me, I immersed myself in my Bible—studying fear, the novel's central theme. This was ironic coming from the poster child for fears. I fear rejection, success, heights, strangers, green peas, and skinny jeans.

I kept going back to Matthew 14. The disciples are in the boat, the winds are going crazy, and walking across the water is this dark figure. Peter says, "If that's you, Jesus, call out for me to join you." (I would've said, "If that's you, can you toss me a life jacket?")

Jesus does indeed call out to His friend, and things are going well until. . .Peter takes his eyes off his Savior and focuses on the wind. The wind that's tossed the boat and made the night scary.
The second Peter takes his focus off Jesus, down he goes.

So many focus on Peter's lack of faith here. I think the guy's cool just for getting out of the boat. Let's be honest. I wouldn't. Would you? Safety is comfort. But. . .what am I missing by playing it safe? What are we missing by not climbing out of the boat onto the waves?

God has huge plans for us. In Jeremiah He tells us that He has plans to prosper us, not to hurt us. What about you? Would you have taken on the giant if you had been a young David? The Bible is full of amazing moments that required blind faith—faith in something unseen that defies logic and does not make sense. Yet, moments in which a challenged child of God would have let his or her fears rule, would've turned out so much differently. So much. . .less.

In 2005, I had my David and Goliath moment. I went out to meet my giant with uncharacteristically giant faith. I had long had a dream of being a writer. But really hadn't done anything about it beyond wishing. Wishing is safe. And tidy. I had prayed a lot about it—but hadn't given my desire feet. I became burdened with the idea that my attitude was like saying to God, "I don't believe You're going to take care of me. I don't believe You can whip up anything satisfying for my life." I wasn't trusting God with all my life.

I traveled to my first writer's conference armed with nothing more than 20 pages of a book idea and supernatural faith built on months of prayer, claiming my dream, and relying on nothing but God. But I knew God was going to do what I began to call "The Amazing." I went to this conference expecting great things. And I think that is what made all the difference. Much like David, who went in knowing the battle was his. And God's.

That conference changed my life. Six months later I had my first book deal. The statistical chances of that happening given my lack of experience and writing? Zero. But I had to meet the giant on the battlefield for that to ever happen.

What are you dreaming of today? Or maybe for the last decade? All your life? Like me, are you living in your comfort zone? What dreams have lingered with you that won't leave you alone? Take your eyes off the raging waters, off all the logical reasons why not, reach out your hand and slip it into God's. He's been waiting for you.

Dear Lord, You have not called me to live a safe life, but a faith-filled life where I face my fears to achieve the amazing things You have planned. Help me to reach out to You, even when I'm afraid, and keep my focus on You. Bind up any fear, any excuses, any obstacles in my way, and show me Your will; Your clear path. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Just Between You and Me: A Novel of Losing Fear and Finding God by Jenny B. Jones
Pop over to P31’s She Reads site today to enter a drawing for a Jenny B. Jones giveaway. One grand prize winner will receive a copy of her novel Just Between You and Me plus a fabulous gift basket: Zingerman’s Baked Goods Dreambox. Four runner up winners will also receive the novel.

She Speaks Conference – P31’s conference for aspiring speakers or writers

Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say when you talk to Yourself by Jennifer Rothschild

Application Steps:
Make a list of at least five things you'd do if you only had six months to live. Next to each one, list what stops you from achieving or going after this.

Do a scripture search on fear, or blessings. Pray these verses out loud and personalize them by inserting your name and your goals. Jeremiah 29:11 is a great place to start. I used Deuteronomy 28:1-6.

What are my greatest fears? How could these fears get in the way of God's plan for my life? Of my own dreams?

How has my past manifested into fears or control issues? Are there areas I'm not surrendering to God out of fear?

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future " (NIV)

John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV)

© 2010 by Jenny B. Jones. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great encouragement. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just what i needed today. we are in the midst of starting a business, which was mostly my husband's "dream" however the succcess relies on my training and experience. i grudginly agreed to give this a try after much wrestling with fear and anxiety of not being able to handle this and be a good mom to my three daughters. i regreat to say i have held onto my fear and some resentment towards my husband for pushing this business. i have prayed God is using him to push me in the right direction. i know when we get it up an running it will be a great benefit to the communintiy, my employees and my family. My prayer is it will eventually give me more freedom from a 8am to 6pm job. i am asking all of you to pray that i cling to God's promises of Jer 29:11 and that i can face this "giant" without fear. i is very far out of my comfort zone. please please pray for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this really spoke to me i too am very fearful not sure if i can make that step but the thought of god reaching his hand out to me is a comfort thank you.

Blogger Carrie Turansky said...

Oh, thank you, Jenny for sharing these thoughts. I am going to print this out and give it to the girls in my mentor group tonight. We are talking about having courage to step out and follow God's lead toward the dreams He is giving you!

I remember meeting you at that first ACFW conference. I enjoyed being your conference mentor and sharing some time with you there. Yes, it is amazing what happened! : )

I am so excited to see all the Lord is doing in your writing! I've enjoyed so many of your books. Keep up the great work!

Blogger Christine said...

Are you sure that Jesus was referring to Peter when He made the comment about little faith when Peter started to sink? Or...was it really directed toward the others still in the boat but afraid to even come out? Peter showed faith and courage just by getting out of the boat, but he cannot sustain himself on that alone but needed Jesus to give him a helping hand. The others were still cowering in the boat.

Anonymous Jenny B. Jones said...

Anonymous No. 3 : ) just said a prayer for you. Praying for peace, discernment, and confirmation. And of course, prosperity.

Carrie, I will never forget that first conference and meeting my mentor! ; )

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my favorite verses is one you referenced, Jeremiah 29:11. Even though we know we are supposed to put our trust in God, it is sometimes hard to. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this post so much. It made me cry, and yet also excited at the same time. I have often felt like I am not quite doing or living the exact life that Jesus wants me too. This post makes me wonder if the reason is just because I have been too afraid too?? Thank you Angela

Anonymous Anonymous said...

fear is been a gaint in my life for quite awhile. i once read fear stands for false evidence appearing real. when you are facing it, fear does appear real. thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous Jenny B. Jones said...

"Fear is false evidence appearing real." I love that. So true. And it's so life-robbing. A friend recently said a prayer for untruths or lies we've bought into to be revealed. I've been praying that lately--a new addition to my prayers.

Anonymous Sally said...

My heart missed a beat reading this post. It's yet God speaking and addressing directly at my situation. I am a "head" rather than "heart" person.. and I know God is challenging my attitude on putting my trust above logic and comfort zones.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ladies

Please pray with me, i spent some time in fasting and prayer and God has challenged me to step out in faith. I spent the past 10 years living in fear, doubt and confussion.

i know scripture but some how fail to apply it into my life. Pray for my liberation.

God bless.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devo! I have been struggling with stepping out of the boat in faith for a dream I've had for a long time. I prayed for God to release me from my last job so I could pursue this dream. I made steps today to act on my dream even though I've been afraid or made excuses as to why it wouldn't work! Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous Jenny B. Jones said...

Prayed for each of you, ladies. Thanks so much for posting your prayer requests and comments.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too struggle with fear, anxiety and lack of trust. I prayed for a relationship but panicked when it happened, didn't step out of the boat in faith and made excuses as to why it wouldn't work. But could this also be the way things were supposed to turn out and if not, why didn't God stop me from messing up? Pray that if it really was God's will, this relationship, trust and love can be restored despite all seeming impossibility. And if it is not to be, pray for the strength to accept it as such and for sadness to be taken away.

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