Saint John Paul II, Pray for Us
JPII’s quote, “Be not afraid,” is a valuable reminder during times of uncertainty when I need some extra courage to take that next step.
“At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God. (Matthew 14: 27- 33)
Peter had set out and began to walk on water after Jesus had called him. It wasn’t until he noticed how strong the wind was that he was filled with fear and began to sink. If he had kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he probably would have been able to walk out further. How many times in our own lives have we become distracted by the “strong wind” (insecurities, doubts, new and uncertain transitions, etc.) around us and taken our eyes off of Jesus?
Fear is a natural emotion that we can experience, but we must not let anxieties hold us back from going where He calls us. We must have courage and trust that we can take each step with the Lord, even in the midst of our fears. Whether you have just moved to a new city, are starting a new school year/job, or are entering into a completely new stage of life, take courage and do not be afraid because the Lord is with you every step of the way.
(Guest blogger Valerie Abrego FOCUS ministry of San Jose State University and her team.)
During my time in college, I was struggling with my faith and didn’t know where to turn. At the beginning of my junior year, a missionary invited me to go on a retreat with other students from the Catholic center at my university. Reluctantly I signed up, despite being filled with numerous doubts about what I believed and where I belonged. It was at this retreat where I encountered God in prayer in a way that opened up the door to greater healing and a personal relationship with Him. Since then, God has equipped me to say yes even when I am uncertain, and He has called me deeper in ways that I could have never imagined!
I recently graduated college and moved to a new city to begin serving as a campus missionary, where I hope to show students that God desires a personal relationship with them too. During this time of transition, my blessings bracelets have been a great reminder that this mission is something that the Lord has called me to and He is always with me. JPII’s quote, “Be not afraid,” is a valuable reminder during times of uncertainty when I need some extra courage to take that next step. Keeping this in mind,
I can continually surrender all of my fears to Him and step out into the unknown, trusting that this is where He has called me.
I pray that we can keep our eyes fixed on the Lord– the One who calls us to step out onto the uncertain waters in the midst of our fears– and trust that He will not lead us astray when He calls us.
If you would like to learn more about what I do as a FOCUS missionary or how to support and join me on this mission, please do not hesitate to reach out! Send me an email at email@example.com
—MSMH Guest Blogger Valeria Abrego/FOCUS Missionary