A year ago my small group read a book that ignited our faith and put a skip in our step toward our impossible dreams. By the end of the book, God had given us all fresh vision for our lives and unshakable faith.
As we shared those “impossible for men, but not impossible for God” dreams, we encouraged each other and cheered each other on. I was the master at figuratively pushing all of my friends out of the boat so they could do the impossible and walk on water toward Jesus. It was awesome! I cheered them on and watched them go…meanwhile, I stayed safe and dry in my boat. Well, as you could imagine, that didn’t last long.
If you are unfamiliar with the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus, see Matthew 14:22-33.
Jesus called me out of the boat, and here I am completely out of my comfort zone. I’m out of the boat and dripping wet!
I have just wrapped up a day spent with 300 other women who I have never met, in a city I have never been to. I also had my first meeting with a literary agent, and as I handed her my book proposal, it really was like handing her my baby (they warned us that we may feel that way).
Let me tell you what I have learned so far as I have journeyed out on the water with Jesus…
1. The waves are big, and they will try to sweep over you.
Did you ever make a wave pool as a kid? My brother and cousins and I used to do it all the time. We would all grab some kind of flotation toy and bounce up and down as fast as we could to make the biggest waves possible. Well, this is what I think Satan is doing when He sees us walking out on the water toward Jesus. I think he HATES to see God doing the impossible through us, so I bet he’s over there trying to make the waves look like they will engulf us at any minute.
He almost had me last week. As I worked tirelessly to finish my book proposal, life happened. My husband ended up in the ER with kidney stones. As he underwent two surgeries and an overnight hospital stay, I juggled the kids and everything else and refused to give up. I know Satan wanted me to tap out. He wanted me to see the size of the waves and give up on my proposal. But I was not going to let him win…no no, not this time, because I was walking toward my Jesus and I knew He would not let me fall!
2. You get wet out on the water.
When you are out on the water, YOU WILL GET WET. Some of the dampness will come from the waves of life splashing up against you, but some may be your own tears running down your cheeks. When God calls us out of the boat, He promises to hold us up, but He never promises it will be easy.
My girls have been taking swimming lessons for the last two weeks, and I noticed something as I observed. There are a lot of tears shed at the swimming pool. Kids, like us, get scared when they are called out of their comfort zones and out onto the water. IT IS SCARY! But then I watched, as the children focused their attention on the teacher, the one who was urging them on saying, “It’s okay. Just keep your eyes on me,” they began to relax and just enjoy the experience. Yes! That’s exactly the picture of us and Jesus! I think He’s okay with our tears, as long as we don’t take our eyes off of Him. As long as our eyes are on Him, He will urge us on and calm our every fear.
3. Just when you think you are going to drown, Jesus takes your hand and pulls you up.
There will be times when the waves distract us and our fears pull us down. If we take our eyes off of Jesus, we will begin to sink. But here’s the good news…He will never let us go under. In the story of Peter walking on the water, it says He sees the wind and waves and begins to sink, but IMMEDIATELY, Jesus grabs His hand and pulls Him up.
Those waves may seem like they are going to sweep over you. The fears that creep into your heart may feel like anchors that will pull you straight to the bottom of the ocean. BUT, the one whom you are walking toward is never going to let that happen. He is strong enough! He is powerful enough! And our minds cannot even fathom all that He is going to do while we are out on the water!
So let me ask you, friend, where are you? Are you staying safe and dry in the boat watching everyone else go for it? If you are in the boat, might I challenge you to step out? There is a beautiful intimacy with Jesus out there on the water. Don’t miss out.
Or are you out on the water, walking toward Jesus and trusting Him to do the impossible in and through you? If you are out on the water, I hope to encourage you, dear sister. Keep your eyes on your Jesus and take it one step at a time. Don’t let Satan trip you up with his ridiculous wave pool, and do not let those fears bring you down. Look into the eyes of your Savior, and He will never let you fall!