23 July 2014

Lessons from Galilee

Lately, the Lord has been speaking to me about stepping out of my comfort zone, out of the "boat" where I feel I am safe.  

I don't know where (or to what) He's calling me yet, but I know the call is coming!  He's been using practically everything to speak to me!

I began to hear this message while I was in Israel, standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  As I stood there, wind tugging at my hair and my clothes, I tried to picture a terrifying storm over the peaceful lake, to imagine the fear of the disciples as they struggled to keep their little boat afloat.  And then, to see Him, walking across the tumultuous waves... wow!

As I stood in the gentle surf, I prayed that God would give me Peter's faith.  I know that if I'd been in his sandals, I would have clung to that flimsy boat helplessly, begging Jesus to calm the storm with His words like He'd done before.  But get out?! Yeah, right!  I'm staying right here, where I feel safe!

But fortunately I wasn't on that boat.  And I have the advantage of having read the story.  I know what happens when Peter decides to get out.  He walks on the water, too.  Yeah, he gets scared, takes his eyes off of Jesus, and begins to sink.  But he walked on water, y'all.  

And I have the power to choose that outcome for myself...
if I choose to follow where my Savior calls.

Over Independence Day weekend, I devoured the book Water Walker, by Ted Dekker.  (First part is free for download here.)  Without giving too much of the book away, Water Walker draws a parallel between physical storms and the storms of life.  We live in our little boats, thinking we're safe from drowning in the water, but in reality, the boat creates a false sense of safety.  

I am no more safe in a canoe than I am actually in the water during a storm.  In fact, I am less safe there if I have specifically been called out of the boat.

And then, this week in my devotional, I'm reading about Jonah and how sometimes storms are used to get our attention.  This one part stuck out to me:  God is flushing you out of hiding from behind the perceived protection of your flimsy umbrella.  And then: We are more fearful of the task itself than of the consequences of our disobedience.


Yeah, basically the same thing He'd been speaking to me about the boat.  Only now there were consequences to disobedience.  I was stricken, convicted.  I immediately wrote in the margin, "I am Jonah!"  But I don't want to be a Jonah.  I want to be a Peter.  

I want to be the one who discounts the fear, the boat's safety, the impossibility of the task.  I want to be the one who boldly says, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water!" (Matthew 14:28 MSG)

So that's been my prayer the last couple of days, that God would give me the courage to accept His call when it comes, that I would look above the rising waves and see His hand held out to me.  

I want to trust that He has prepared me for what He's called me to do.

(And yes, if you were wondering, all these pictures are ones I took of Galilee.  It's just that beautiful!)

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