Thursday, October 3, 2013

Walk on Water? I can't Get Out of the Boat!

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

As I sang these words in the Sunday worship service, my heart cried out in agreement. I DO want my trust to be without boundaries, my faith to be strong enough to walk on water - yet as soon as I said it, I cringed.

I thought of the scripture from which this song is inspired:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified.
“It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“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?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:22-33
photo credit

I know full well the place in which this kind of faith and trust develops.

In PAIN.

I am reminded of what I read in a book not long ago. That sometimes when we are in the darkest place we have ever been, and feel that God is no where in sight, we've simply been hidden in the cleft of a rock while God passes by, because no one can look on His full glory and live. (Exodus 33:17-23)

I remember.

I can look back and see God hovering full over me in the months of leanness after three different layoffs, or the year following the stillbirth of our baby. He was there in the pain and the struggle. I knew it.

Truth be told, I still don't like pain - even if it means seeing God.

I guess that what I want is to have TRUST
...but with the borders of comfort - - like knowing that there will be enough money to cover the bills and buy groceries.

I want to have FAITH
...but not have to step out of the boat into a deep, stormy sea with waves crashing over my head and use it.

I don't want the sea billows to roll. I want it to be well with my circumstances - not just well with my soul.

But I also want to see God.

It has always bothered me that Jesus seems to rebuke Peter for having such small faith, yet Peter was the only one who had faith enough to step out of the boat - the others did not even attempt it. I thought of the time when the disciples could not cast out a demon and asked him why.

So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
 
It sounded to me like all they needed was just a teeny tiny amount of faith. Peter had a teeny tiny amount of faith to step out of the boat - but he needed just a little bit more to stay afloat.
 
He learned that lesson. These are the moments in which that kind of faith is built, strengthened, increased...
 
When a teeny tiny amount of faith is required - and used - and proven, it then grows into bigger faith.

We need to see His presence in the little things in order to trust Him in the bigger things. The disciples had already begun to suspect that something was different about Jesus. They had just watched him feed 5000 people with a child's lunch box. But it took this storm. This walking on water. For them to say, "Truly You are the Son of God!"
 
Sometimes that is all we need, too.
 

3 comments:

Jedidja November 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM  

I like so what you wrote here? When are you blogging again? How are you?

Latisha December 4, 2013 at 10:59 PM  

I am doing well. I have been very limited on time to write so I have gotten out of the "discipline." A friend has been prodding me to put some thoughts on marriage into words, so I plan to start a short series soon.
How are you? It is so good to hear from you!

Jedidja December 6, 2013 at 7:08 AM  

:-) Thanks. I understand! ( and also for your comment)

This is so nice ( words from you blog) : We need to see His presence in the little things in order to trust Him in the bigger things." Lets remember that this weekend.

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