I decided on one of my days off that I would go surfing. However, there were two problems with this: one, I’m not very good at surfing and two, I was by myself. However, in my mind, I was like the waves are only like 5 ft. I’ll be careful. About an hour into it, I was getting tired and the waves were getting bigger. Suddenly, a huge wave started to form in the distance; as it barreled towards me, I realized I was too far ahead of it and it was too big. I decided the only thing to do was try and get far enough ahead of the wave so I wouldn’t feel the full force of it. It failed and I was picked up and sucked under. It spun me around not letting me up. I got scared that I would hit a rock so I struggled and tried to find the surface. This only pulled me further under the water. I could feel myself running dangerously out of air. I opened my eyes to only see a wall of water and foam. I stopped struggling against the water and it spit me out almost immediately. Taking in huge breaths, I realized a really important lesson that day: never go surfing alone.
Sometimes my Christian walk feels like this. I try and surf it alone. The decisions we make in everyday life effect us for eternity. Our stories are intertwined with decisions that shape our future and who we are. My decision to surf alone almost cost me my life because I thought I could do it that one time, by myself, with no help. We do this with our faith. We decide that we can do this one task, this one time, without help. Then it blows up in our face. Or it may not blow up but it does not come out as good as it could have been had we trusted in Christ to lead. The most common sentence that comes out of my mouth is, “I can fix it!” I believe the hardest part about being a human sometimes is admitting we are vulnerable and need help. Mathew 8:24-27 describes a boat trip the disciples took.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
The Son of God was sleeping on the boat and they still waited until they almost were under water to ask for his help! How many times do we take risks without walking or talking with God. We try and accomplish things without consulting the Creator of the universe. Then, when it starts to go under, we try and scramble to fix it. Only to find ourselves drowning. The amazing thing is he wants us to go to him; he is simply waiting for us to talk to him.
Then there is the observer, when we stand on the beach and simply do nothing because of fear. There have been decisions in my life that I simply backed away from and did nothing. I was afraid of what could happen and what God would be asking of me. I feared I would be asked to give something up or do something outside my comfort zone. In some cases God has literally stripped everything away so that I would get off the sand and move. When we let fear rule us, we are missing out on what God has store for us. No matter what we think will happen, God’s outcome is always more awesome than we can imagine. In the long run the decision to move can affect not only our life but the lives around us. One decision can set a chain reaction of events that lead to radical new things. We may not see results right away but the ripples have been made.
In walking with God, I have realized that the drowning experiences can be the scariest because when it comes to that point it feels like I am helpless against the power of the wave. Opening our eyes to the water and foam is scary because it feels like there is no end in sight to our trouble. When we stop the struggle however Christ is there to calm the water and the waves and give us peace and guidance. The psalms talk about this over and over, that he is there to pull us from the water and give us strength.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
We have no reason to fear because God is our strength. The same God who rose from the dead and took the keys of hell from Satan, the same God that defeated death itself, the same God that created the universe, is the same God that lives in us and loves us. He wants us to run to him with everyday things. We can do anything because the power of Christ. Don’t wait until your drowning to call for help and don’t just stand on the beach. Life is risky and God has plans for you.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Author: Rebekah Dennison