Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sink or Swim (Or...walk)

I was folding laundry while the kids watched a movie about Jesus' Miracles. It's one of these extremely cheesy, poorly animated movies where Jesus is embarrassingly white (along with the rest of the characters).

The story narrated was of Jesus walking on water to get to the disciples' boat. Dear, faith-filled, zealous Peter says, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
So He (Jesus) said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." Matthew 14:28-33

I found myself in heaps of towels and shirts fighting tears at overly-white Jesus and Peter's situation. When that storm came on and the boat was being tossed around, the disciples had already seen some crazy stuff. They had just left five thousand people on land who had just been fed using only five loaves and two fish. Jesus had been healing people. John the Baptist had been beheaded for his faith. Things were heating up and the disciples were in the thick of it.

Peter is ready for more miracles. Bring it! He wants to be with Jesus and he's ready to throw himself overboard to prove it.

Then his feet hit the water. Reality sinks in..oh, and reality is causing him to sink. He has a "What was I thinking?!" moment and yells for Jesus to save him.

I used to think it was harsh for Jesus to say "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After all, Peter took the jump. He gave it a shot! He just buckled momentarily.
But as I watched Peter on the video in his fuzzy bathrobe with his animated scared face, I realized he should have had big faith because he had seen big things. He knew who Jesus was, he had experience that proved Jesus is faithful and able to do amazing works. Yet he still doubted. He sunk.

I relate to Peter's passion and willingness. I have flung myself from the boat loudly proclaiming I'll do anything to be closer to Christ and to share in His work. Then I have looked at the waves of instability and financial distress. I've heard voices saying, "What are you doing?!" and I've taken my eyes off the one I jumped to. The wind is too much. My feet sink. I'm wet, miserable, cold, and it takes me too long to shout, "Lord, save me!"

And I envy Peter because he got back in the boat. Jesus pulled him out of the water, proved Himself, caused the wind to cease, and dried off.
I am in a perpetual state of sinking, walking, sinking, walking and I would love to get out of the water! A boat? Anyone?!
I have these fantastic moments where I am walking on water and my eyes are locked with Christ's. I think nothing can drag me under and I am giddy at what will happen next.
Then I hear something, see something, remember something, that pulls. Suddenly I'm frantic, exhausted, treading water. In that moment I forget that I have seen great things. I know who Christ is, I've experienced that He is faithful and able to do great works. Yet I can't recall a single thing when I'm sinking.

I am learning to say, "Lord! Save me!" He pulls me up; through His Word, through groceries, through the faith of my husband, through words He speaks to me as I go to sleep. Up I come again... looking for that boat. For whatever reason He sees fit to keep me on the water awhile longer.
There are days I think, "Forget walking on water- it'll be a miracle if I make it out of bed!" Those days are often followed by miracles, progress, excitement at what the Lord is establishing in me.

The most challenging aspect of my life today? Is to scan the horizon for the face of my Savior instead of scanning for a stable, dry boat to scramble onto. I'm certain if He isn't yet providing a boat to dry off and rest in, we must have some face-to-face work still to do here in the water.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Oh my ... so right there with you!

    We stepped out of the boat 13 months ago ... and are still waiting patiently for the Lord to give us some solid ground to stand on (or another boat). The waves have gotten quite rocky ... and the fear has set in ... and I keep crying out to the Lord, as I do my best to keep my eyes focused on Him.

    YES! We have so many stories of God's faithfulness to our family ... of the miracles that He has done for us ... we must remember those times, in order to KNOW that He will not let us sink in this current storm.