The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a three foot wall. Why? The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. They will not go where they cannot see. Amazing isn’t it?

Yet in many ways we Christians are just like the impala. We allow numerous things to become barriers in our lives – things like circumstances, the desire for security, the desire to be in control at all times. And although we, like the impala, are perfectly capable of clearing the wall, because we are uncertain of where our feet will land, we convince ourselves we are powerless to do so. Sometimes these barriers even cause us to doubt our ability to give to God’s work.

God’s Word has much to say about this. For example, in II Corinthians 4:18, Paul tells us, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” And in II Corinthians 5:7 he reminds us that “. . .we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Peter is one example of how we limit ourselves in what we can do when we try to live by what we see. Matthew 14:29-31 relates that “. . .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.” As long as Peter had his eyes on Jesus, he was able to accomplish the seemingly impossible. . . because he was trusting Him. It wasn’t until Peter took his eyes off the Lord and focused on something else – himself and his circumstances – that he became afraid. In that moment, he quit looking to God’s power to sustain him and he began to sink. When Peter cried out to the Lord in his fear, “Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

God wants us to see beyond our circumstances to get our eye off ourselves and focused on Him. We must not focus on what we think we cannot do. We must focus, instead, on what God can do through us.

This is an important time in our church. We are in the midst of our annual stewardship campaign. It’s the time of year we must intentionally choose to be a part of God’s purpose and plan, through our giving. It’s a time we must keep our eyes on Him and have faith that He can sustain us.

Please fill out a reservation card for our Stewardship Banquet on Sunday, January 29, at 5:30 PM in our gym. The meal is free. We are anticipating all teenagers in sixth grade and up to attend the banquet with you. Arrangements are made to care for your children, birth through fifth grade. We will feed all of your children two years old and older. Please fill out a reservation card and put it in an offering plate or turn it in to the Information Center. You may also register online at www.beaconbaptist.org/events or call the church office to reserve your place at the banquet. We need to hear from you by Tuesday morning, January 24.

David knew about grace and gratitude. In Psalm 18:49 he wrote, “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen and sing praises unto thy name.”