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Walking On Water


jesusonwater1

Author’s note:   So, three month ago, I hung up my writing.  I didn’t know how long I would do so.  I simply knew that something had to change.  First of all, I was starting to really get self-conscious with the knowledge that I would write and write and nobody was reading.  Secondly, I became suspicious that my intent was less than pure.  I was writing simply to be read.

So, is that so bad?  Shouldn’t one write TO be read?  Sounds reasonable.  However I have always felt a different calling.  I have alway written to know.  I’ve written to work through the knowledge of the Holy and of the One who inspired the writing.   As of recently I lost that truth.  That’s fine.  Sometimes it’s good to get a little lost.  Sometimes that helps up learn to appreciate how great it is to be found.

So what does one do when they wake up at 3 am in the morning, wide awake with words pounding in ones head and fire locked up in one’s bones?

He gets up and he writes…

***

I’m a little lost.

Frankly, that’s not a bad thing.   I really don’t think we get lost enough in modern life.  Everything we do and have is designed to give up perceived purpose, to show us the way and to make our journey easier.  Our GPS’ in our watches, and our organizational meetings and our slick news broadcasts and our quippy Twitter quotes are all designed to let us know where we are, what were doing, what we should know and how we should feel.   We need to have our head in the game, our feet on the path and our feelings neat, carefree and appropriate.

Only, sometimes they’re just not.

And I believe that they weren’t designed to always be so.

Sometime it’s the angst of our lives that teach us how to really work out our faith.

So, for now I’m a little lost and, you know what?  I’m glad.  I’m glad because only when you’re a little lost can you really do a little walking on water!

A few years ago during my Rochester days, I walked on water quite a bit.  Mainly because I was really, really lost then.  I was deep into the “Land Between” and I had no idea how long I would be there.  No job, no compass, no purpose other than to simply try to figure out where I and my family fit into the big colossal calling that the church had been given.

I was lost, but I was happy.   I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier.

I would walk.  Every day.  For miles.  We live in a pocket community right downtown, and that was the place for me.  Surrounded by hundred-year-old homes, city storefronts, museums and art galleries, gorgeous churches and college-kid approved coffee shops, I would wander from place to place on my continual search to figure out why I was lost, and how I could become found again.

And I would daydream.

It was when what song “Oceans” was at its height of popularity.  I would put on earphones, set that song on repeat, get on my winter boots and coat and walk out into the icy blanket of whiteness to begin my wandering from street to street and coffeeshop to coffeeshop.   And the words totally reflected where my heart was at.

“You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand”

I would pretend I was walking on the water of some vast ocean, no land in site and no knowledge of where my destination was to be.  It truly was the epitome of “the journey is the destination”.  I would pray, and God, in His holy temple would hear the word of His lost little sheep.  It was a time of love.

“For I am Yours and You are mine”

I would wander and pray till my feet ached, my lungs hurt from the cold and my mind would be lost in the crisscrossing city streets.  But I had little fear.  Sometimes it’s only when you are lost, can you really know how found you are!

Peter got this.

There, in the deepest night with their boat being buffeted by the waves, he saw his Savior.   At first, he was fearful, thinking he was seeing a ghost walking out to him on the waves.  Soon enough however, he heard that all too familiar voice reassuring him…

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”

That might have been ok for some, but not for good ol’ Peter.  He had to know for sure.  So he gave the master a challenge.  He challenged for him to call ol’ Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water to him.

My Jesus is so gracious with our stubbornness, isn’t he?  He simply told Peter, “Come”

And Peter did so.

He was doing well for a while, but then got distracted.  The waves were so big.  The wind so strong.  There he stood on the water, but his fear was getting the best of him.  It only got worse.  He began to sink.  Panic engulfed him as he began to disappear under what would surely become his watery grave.  He began to drown, and called out “Save me”

My Jesus is so gracious with our fear, isn’t he?  He simply reached out his hand and caught him.  “Why did you doubt?”

Why indeed?

We often judge Peter for this, but would any of us have faired better?  I like to think that I would have no fear or doubt as I looked deep into Jesus’ eyes and danced and skipped on the water through the storm.  Frankly, who am I kidding?  I know I would have been just as lost as Peter in that moment.

Also, I always have another thought when I hear this story.   We always talk about Peter’s moment of disbelief and his failure.  It would do us well to remember one thing…  yes, he did have his doubt and he did sink.  However, before that Peter walked on the water!!!

Peter got out of the boat and Peter walked on the water.

And this wasn’t the only time Peter had this kind of faith.

Years later he sat in another boat.  I picture him sitting there heartbroken, tears in his eyes and the knowledge in his heart that when he promised to be there for Jesus, he instead had denied him.  In the darkest night of the soul, three time did he do the one thing that he promised never to do… he turned his back on his Savior.

Peter was lost, and no power in heaven or earth could ever save him now.

…no power save one.

And that one now stood on the shore beaconing him to “come”.  So what did Peter do?   He jumped out of the boat once again.  No, he didn’t run and skip across the water this time, but he did swim as fast as he could until he could get to the place where his Savior sat making breakfast for him.

So they sat there on the beach and talked and Peter began to find his redemption.  Twice Jesus asked him if Peter loved him.  Twice Peter confirmed that he really, really did.  Finally, Jesus asked him a third time, once for every denial, if he loved him.   At first Peter was hurt that Jesus kept asking him.  But then, after his insistence that he did, something truly amazing happened.  Peter stopped being lost.  Peter became found again.  With his eyes firmly locked on his risen Savior Peter once again responded to the call to walk out onto the water.

And he was never lost again.

So here I am, still a little lost.  It’s ok.   Sometimes we need to know what it’s like to be lost so we can truly remember what it’s like to be found.  Sometimes we need to know what it’s like to feel that firm hand pull us out of the waves that bring us so much fear only to set us back on our feet, to have us look deep into our Savior’s eyes and continue our walk with Him across the waves.  It’s only then we remember the promise He will never let us forget…

I am Yours, and You are mine.

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