By Sara Emmorey
What is faith?
I grew up in the church, being taught weekly about the men and women of the Bible who did hard things not knowing the outcome other than what God promised them. Scripture shares that even those who were promised greatness from God, still doubted, still questioned, but still believed God would deliver.
When I was 18, I had the opportunity to go on a foreign mission trip through my church. It was the last trip I could be a part of before going off to college, and I was scared. I had the exact amount of money in my piggy bank needed for the non-refundable deposit, yet I wasn’t sure how I would come up with the remainder of the money for the trip. I remember the message in church that day— my pastor sharing about faith and stepping out of your boat to follow Jesus (referring to Peter walking on water) and I just knew I was supposed to go on that trip. After that message, I went and found my dad who already had an $80 check ready to go for me. Somehow he knew I was going to change my mind and want to go on this trip. So I paid the non-refundable deposit. And then I waited.
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” • Matthew 14:28-31
The next day at school, I was headed to the weight room at the end of the day before track and field practice. Our school weight room was amazing— it was fully loaded with all new equipment along with a trainer who worked with the school athletes to ensure they were working out safely.
That Monday afternoon while I was doing my lifting routine, there was also a young man in the weight room. I was familiar with who he was because he had graduated with my brother and went on to play professional baseball after high school. (He used our school’s weight room in the off-season when not with the baseball team). He also attended my church in his off-season so he knew about the upcoming mission trip. He approached me and asked if I was going on the trip and I told him that I was.
Then the most awesome part of my story— he asked if he and his wife could pay for my entire mission trip. I remember being so excited that I wasn’t able to speak. Within 24 hours of me saying “yes” to this trip— unsure how I was going to pay for it— God provided the full amount in the most amazing way. When I agreed to it I didn't know how the money would come, but I trusted God would help me. I never expected a donor to step up in that way, I just knew God would enable me to raise the money somehow. Being so graciously blessed, I was able to continue on to help fund raise for others who were also going on the trip.
God doesn’t want us to have all the answers before saying yes. He just wants us to be willing. He will use us where we are, we just have to be willing and trust that He is in control. There were so many moving parts in that 24-hour period to make that trip happen for me, and looking back, I know it was a total God thing that it happened. God used that trip in my life to shape my future to be His.
Even now, 18 years later, I can confidently say that that single mission trip changed my life. It was because of it that I fell in love with ministry and serving people. I knew someday I wanted to work alongside of my church to help reach people for Jesus. Throughout my life, there have been times when I, like Peter, doubted and started to sink— but Jesus reached out and rescued me. It’s during those times I can look back and see how faithful God was in the everyday to provide for me time after time.
That is what faith is— believing that God will provide, that He is who He says He is, and trusting Him even when you cannot see.
is the wife of Randy Emmorey, our Associate Pastor of Connections & Outreach, and mom to their 6 children ages 1 to 12 years old. She has a degree in early childhood education but chose to stay at home with her children. She loves to help with anything that involves her children and her family.