Standing Firm Among the Breakers
Maybe it’s the romantic in me. Maybe it’s because my faith is strong in the area of believing God for the startling, overpowering and suddenly miraculous. Maybe it’s just human nature.
Whatever the reason, I was sure, when I stepped out of the boat with the Lord, it would be smooth sailing. I knew I’d have to keep my eyes on the Lord (thank you, dear Simon Peter, for that lesson) and I knew it wouldn’t be without its scary moments, but I was sure it would be… well, my envisioned version of “successful.”
But there was so much more to know than the Sunday School version of Peter’s trek on the waves taught me.
Real life, the version of life we embody and walk around in, is never quite like the theoretical experience. The reality of getting off the bench and stepping onto the court is never like watching from the sidelines.
It’s way too easy for us to think that it is, to imagine that we will know what to do and how to react in the moments we are called to follow onto the waves. It all seems so straightforward from the sidelines. But it is in the stepping out ourselves that the mist begins to rise around our feet and obscure our view of where we thought we were going. And it’s in that hazy reality that we find out what is really lurking inside our hearts and minds. There are things there that can’t go with us onto the waves, things we might never have seen from the safety of the boat, things that, even if detected in the boat, cannot be fully jettisoned from our hearts and proved defeated as long as we stay in the boat.
It takes the grape being crushed to prove the juice resides inside, to prove the fruit is worth refining and working into the new wine we are called to offer the world.
And it is here I stand, out among the waves, heart full of all the doubts and choosing faith. I’m here with the wet winds whipping my face and making life an irritant that I would rather shield myself from. I’m challenging myself to stand here, eyes on Jesus, relentlessly pursuing His will though I see the jeering skeptics in the safety of the boat, though the waves are bigger than I am, though often as I try to find Jesus in it all, I wonder if it’s Him or a ghost (Matthew 14:26-27). It’s so difficult to see clearly in a storm.
But then, I feel it… that familiar hand reaching mine. Our fingers brush and I question: Was that You, Lord, or just my fading hopes? But, yes, oh yes, it is His hand, and all I have to do is reach out and hang on and let the peace of remembering that I’m never alone flood my soul as He restores me and stills me in the storm.
“But when he [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:30-31
Although I have been teaching in one arena or another for more than 30 years, for years I flirted with the idea of getting out of the boat, of following the persistent Voice that called me out into the fullness of my calling. It wasn’t until the end of 2016 that I fully embraced my calling and stopped waiting for someone other than God to call me out. In the last few years, I have learned much about following my dreams: about my assumptions about how things would go, about who I was, about what God wanted from me. I share all this and more in my new offer, “5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Following My Dreams” (ridiculously long title, but I mean every word!). It’s a jam-packed video teaching offered HERE to help you, to give you the tools I wish I had had when I embarked on my journey!