A few minutes ago I was just sitting and reading a short blog story from a favorite blogger who always gets me thinking about deeper things I’d normally ignore (Craig McConnell of Ransomed Heart). Craig’s story ushered in a sort of invitation from God. (This often happens to us when we take a few moments to quiet ourselves and consider listening.)
Sitting there, quiet, wondering, I found myself longing, genuinely and expectantly longing to hear from God, to spend a moment with Him, just like Craig had described in his story. And then, I heard God prompt me – time to take a walk.
I immediately felt what I can only imagine Peter must have felt when Jesus called to him to get out of the boat to walk to him across the water. (Called not to some “show” for effect, but a call to come closer, to walk and talk with Jesus.) I had an immediate and strong desire to jump up and go for a walk with Jesus. For those few seconds, I had complete clarity of desire and purpose. (This doesn’t happen often enough.) And then… I remembered the cold (it’s a windy, 20 degrees outside). No big deal, God said he’d take care of it. I’d be warm. No worries. Let’s walk! But then the “wind and the waves” kicked up. (Matt 14:28-30)
I doubted. I paused. I stopped to consider how it would all work. Man, I hate when this happens! I hate the doubt and fear I live with… the hesitation to just believe… the incessant need to have my questions answered. The clever delays I build into my life that look so good but are really just faithless, doubting, fearful escape routes. It’s not true of who I want to be. (I’m wondering if my pause to write down these thoughts are just another clever way to delay.)
I know if I delay much longer something else WILL come up. Someone will stop by who needs me. I’ll get distracted again and the moment will be lost forever. Ok, so taking a walk isn’t quite the same as walking on water, but that isn’t really the point (it wasn’t really the point for Peter either.)
It is about the desire to walk with Jesus, unclouded by everything else that pulls at me. Then, why the smoke screen?… why the hesitation?… I wonder, am I just doubting God will show up?… Am I afraid of what He might say? … Am I worried about what He might expose? … Expect? … Want me to do? I don’t know, but I’ve got to try to step out of the boat. I’ve got to resist the pull toward fear and doubt. No more — I’m going for a walk.
May we all jump out of whatever boat we’re sitting in and take a walk.