A friend had purchased two ducklings. A few weeks later she wanted to show them the big town pond to go swimming in, instead of her small garden pond. However, the ducklings did not want to go into the water. They hid behind their “duck mother” for protection. A neighbor unceremoniously put them into the pond. But they swam back to the shore as quickly as they could and refused to go back in. From then on, the ducks stayed in the small garden pond at home.
Haven’t we all experienced similar situations? Wonderful new opportunities open up: an exciting job offer, an extensive stay abroad, or the election to a demanding church office—opportunities that might help us discover and prove our talents. Yet we get “cold feet” and don’t accept the opportunity for fear that we are not up to the task. We remain in our little “pond” and miss an opportunity to test our abilities.
In the Bible we find the account of a disciple who was able to overcome his fear and learn a lesson for life. Jesus had told his disciples to go by boat to the other side of a lake, while he stayed alone on a mountain to pray. Far out on the lake, the boat got caught in a storm. “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled … Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased” (see Matthew 14:25–32).