Tag Archives: walking on water

Walking On Water Or Drowning In It

  Eight weeks ago two things happened. I ran for the first time in 8 months (and not again since!) and the next day our basement flooded. Three inches of water covered our basement from wall to wall after a spring melt combined with a sump pump failure.  We were literally walking on water, watching the carpet (finally laid and finished in November) wave and ripple under our feet in response to our footsteps. Since then we have been hit with wave after wave of frustration, fear, and heartache. I have at times felt like I no sooner get to grab a breath before being broadsided by another wave that leaves me sputtering. 

Unexpected car repairs and unfortunate speeding tickets in the wake of the basement flood. Walking with family members through unexpected deaths, broken hips and surgeries, cancer scares snd mysterious illnesses, countless doctors appointments, another minor basement flood when we were hundreds of miles from home, job stresses, kid worries…crashing waves…sputtering breaths. 

This is what life looks like sometimes. There are days and weeks sometimes when it’s difficult to tell if you are walking on the water or just simply drowning in it. 

I think of Peter and the storm that he and the disciples were in the midst of when he got out of the boat to walk towards Jesus on the water. I am sure he was being pounded by the waves-it was storming! This, the waves and the wind were eventually what caused him to take his eyes off of Jesus and to sink.  

It’s where your eyes are focused as the waters pound you that makes all the difference between the walking and the drowning. It’s not the waves themselves. It’s an internal peace running parallel with the turmoil and strife that buoys your spirit.  Satan would love nothing more than to pull our eyes off of Christ in the midst of struggles. Satan is the founder of frustration and distraction. 

There have been many times over the last weeks when I have been worn down-by frustration, by fear, by the exhaustion of treading water. But I keep coming back to the morning after the flood and a promise that God has made.  We were exhausted and still facing a mountain of ruined, sopping wet carpet and padding and accumulated basement stuff that had to be hauled up and out and I had this one thought-God works all things-even basement floods-for good.  I don’t know what the good is going to look like in any of the pounding waves that we will face.

It’s been eight weeks…and while the waters have begun to calm I am still waiting on the good from the flood. I am looking for the rainbow and the olive branch. In the meantime we’ve been living like hoarders with all of the basement stuff packed into the dining room and music rooms, paths running through each room, and a towering pile of it in my garage.  Here is the bottom line, I do know that this is more about the process than the product. This is about the refining of gold, the structuring of faith. This is about the building of trust when nothing makes sense and everyday seems like a fight.  

God uses it all…even flooded basements. 

(And to all of my email recipients, He even uses the random deleted text that shows back up when you publish it!)

More than a cliche (Troubled Waters, Part C)

20130805-093401.jpgWhen I started on the first Troubled Waters post on Saturday I had no idea it was going to lead to two additional posts. It wasn’t until the first one was finished and I re-read it that I thought, yes, God comes to us in our troubled times, all we have to do is cry out to him but that isn’t quite the whole story. Peter’s prayer, “Lord, save me!” was prayed as Peter was seeking Jesus in the midst of the storm. Peter took the first step, Peter was following Jesus’ command, Peter got out of the boat! Which led to Part B yesterday. I woke up this morning and was going to just post a “Still Moment” but found my spirit troubled by some of the lofty words of yesterday’s post. We have all heard the saying “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat.” Oh, ok thanks. That clears it all up. What does that even mean? Christians can be great at going around and spouting off clichés. Be anxious for nothing, pray for everything. (Biblical yes, but is it backed up by any “meat” in their own life or is it just off the cuff advice to combat your deep-seeded anxiety? Take two of these and call me in the morning type advice. And oh, by the way did they offer to come alongside and pray with you over it?) So as I re-ready yesterday’s post, I felt it a little cliché to say, “So I will go, out into the crashing waves, out into the deep to meet Jesus. If that means trying and failing, at least I have failed while trying.” Very well put but what the heck does it even mean? I am calling myself on this one because I hunger for more, for the nuts and bolts of faith.

I don’t have this all figured out and I will never claim to. God’s ways are higher than our ways. We try to understand Him in the only capacity we know how, which in turn puts Him into a human-size box and He is so much more. Infinitely more.

Here is what I should have said…

Father, I love you. I want to seek you and I want to obey your commands. I know that I don’t always do a good job. Sometimes I see something shiny and I get distracted for awhile, but You, in your mercy and grace, always bring me back around to what You have planned for me. You bring me back into your will. Please forgive me for the times when I have failed, when I have been distracted, when I have chosen my own path. Lord, you see my heart and my secret thoughts, and you know that sometimes the things that you ask of me are daunting. They are big, and they are primed for failure and disappointment and I am driven out of my comfort zone. Please remind me on those days that was what you were trying to teach Peter. That is what walking on water really is. It is conquering whatever is impossible, whatever is terrifying, through You. It is where you are waiting to display your power through me, and where you are waiting to show your love to me. Please help me to become more like you. I want so much more than to live in clichés. Lord, save me!

Today, I challenge you to do the same. Get back to the nuts and bolts. Strip your faith back down to the basics where it is just you and Jesus, alone on the water. What would you say to Him? And more importantly, listen for what He is saying to you. Where is He leading you? What “water” is He asking you to brave? I know sometimes its hard to hear Him through everything else clamoring around you. It’s why I started running. It’s why I started writing. Please, just be still…