Here is the map to find your way

Published 10:45 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

By R.A. Tea Mathews

A few days ago, my neighbor sent me a YouTube video of “Amazing Grace” by a 33-year-old heavy metal singer from Brazil. Dan Vasc has long black hair and a black beard. The video shows him standing alone in a black tank top, silhouetted with a black background.

What did I think?

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Honestly, I was befuddled. Heavy metal? But I trust my neighbor and the video had over 5 million views.

Google and listen. If you’ve never heard of Dan Vasc, you’ll never forget him.

Close your eyes and hear the beauty of each note. There’s just one word to describe his way with “Amazing Grace” – exquisite.

What’s interesting is that Vasc is self-made. This artist has no record label—he records and promotes his work. 

That requires a type of believing in yourself that isn’t common. In fact, as many as 85% of adults worldwide are thought to have low self-esteem according to Dr. Jennifer Guttman in a Psychology Today article. 

Scripture tells us of such a man. 

It seems Simon Peter was tired after a long night without catching any fish. And probably frustrated. He had made no money despite all his work. 

The night had passed, and Jesus was in Peter’s boat on the Sea of Galilee, teaching those on shore. 

After the Lord finished, Jesus told Peter to move out into the water and let down his nets. Immediately, fortune came to Peter, so large his boat could not carry the haul of fish. Not even with a second boat could Peter bring it in. And remember, these were not ordinary boats. Both were fishing boats, designed to carry a haul. 

That’s when it happened.

Peter fell to his knees, asking Jesus to leave him, believing he wasn’t good enough to be with the Lord. 

Here’s the passage:

“Now when (Jesus) had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon responded and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to tear;  so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, to the point that they were sinking. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’” (Luke 5:4-8)

See what I mean? Isn’t Peter saying, “I’m not good enough”? 

And what did Jesus do? 

Our Lord stood in the midst of the catch that had overwhelmed Peter and told Peter He had something for him far greater than a boatload of fish.

Here are His words:

“And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.’” (Luke 5:10)

Within a few years, Peter, with no education, would stand before vast crowds of refined people in Jerusalem and bring 5,000 to Christ. (Acts 2-4)

That day on the Sea of Galilee, Peter said, “I’m not good enough,” and many Christians think even worse of themselves, saying, “I’m nothing.” 

Why?  Why would 85% of the world’s population have low self-esteem?

Many psychologists think it forms during childhood as a result of scars. It might be bullying or a lack of security at home.

But Jesus chose you as surely as He chose Peter. God gave you a gift and meant for you to use it for the kingdom of God. 

Do you get anxious when you look at your dream? Perhaps you also see fear in your child or grandchild. 

Jesus said to Peter, “Do not fear…” He says the same to you.

But the powers of darkness want you to think you’re not good enough. Want you to say, “I’m nothing.”

Dan Vasc didn’t let record companies discourage him. He stepped out in faith, and his faith has strengthened many, helping them pursue their place in the kingdom of God.

“Amazing Grace” says, “…I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

Do not fear. Do not let the wounds of your childhood blind you to your dream. Pray and keep praying. God wants to heal you. He wants to guide you. 

Stay close to the Lord. He is the map. With Jesus you will find your way.

The Rev. Mathews, BA, MDiv, JD, is a newspaper faith columnist and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at Hello@RAMathews.com to join her 1-Minute Bible Study.

Copyright © 2023 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.