Not Just Treading Water Anymore
When I was around seven years old, I got caught up in the waves at a wave pool and the lifeguard had to come and get me. I’ve always loved the water and was a great swimmer, but being in the deep end getting pummeled by the rafts around me, proved to be too much. Later that summer I learned a girl close to my age actually died in the same wave pool and ever since then, waves have terrified me. Even as an adult I wouldn't go in deep waves unless I had a raft because of that incident. So when I saw the movie “A Perfect Storm” I was horrified by the scene where Mark Wahlberg’s character is tossed by the waves in the end scene. I watched it this morning before starting to write and it still freaks me out. The waves are so huge and he looks so small by comparison.
When life is trying to overwhelm me it feels like I am stuck in those same waves. Several years ago I was explaining this to a friend, only at the time I felt like I was alone in a raft being tossed to and fro. Because of my faith in God and knowing how He takes care of me, I never feel alone in the water. Despite what is going on, deep in my knower I’m aware that He has me. So I’m not terrified in these seasons of life, but I am tempted to feel overwhelmed. Long story short (funny if you know me because even my short stories are long), over the years God has used this idea of me in the waves to speak to my heart about my journey with Him. And over time I have felt Him calling me to get out of the raft and enter the water like in the movie. If you look at this picture, you’ll see a small yellow dot and that is Mark Wahlberg. His head is still above the water but all around him are waves. For the last 5 months or so this is how I have felt. I have been tempted to be overwhelmed at all the things going on: at losses my heart is still grieving, health things going on (nothing life threatening so no worries about this being about that), a busier than normal schedule, God putting things that seems crazy on my heart to pray and wait for, and trying to get my book done. All those things combined come at me from time to time and tempt me to feel overwhelmed. I’m tempted to be upset with God because He called me out of the life raft. I’m tempted to stress because I haven’t gotten minutely confirmation that I’m following God and not some crazy notion my mind came up with. I’m tempted to stress that self employed insurance isn’t that great and I should worry about the “what if’s”. I’m tempted to try and white knuckle my way through and stay up worrying about each of these situations instead of going to bed early so I can get up early and go the the gym and choose to take time for me no matter what. I’m tempted to look at the waves and be overwhelmed. Then I remember the one who called me out of the raft did confirm it over and over again (just not minutely as I would prefer). He’s taught me that it’s in the deep water where my faith grows more exponentially and where I will see Him move more obviously because there’s no way I can take the credit for what He’s doing. I’m in way over my head. When I was young I gave God control of my path and chose to follow wherever He leads. Honestly, if I’d known all the details of my journey, I would have never said yes and instead I would have cowered in the corner. Back then the idea of being emerged in the waves of life would have been too much because I hadn’t yet experienced the hand of God sustaining me and keeping not only my head above water, but allowing me to walk upon the waves. Because when I think about it that is what I am doing: walking on the waves not merely being tossed by them. Mornings like today when I wake up and am tempted to feel overwhelmed, I feels like a little yellow dot among huge waves. But then, after some time with The One Who Loves Me Most, I’m reminded He didn’t take away the raft to be cruel. He knew the only way I would walk upon the water was to get out of the raft. He knew He had to sustain me in the raft for a long time before I trusted Him to sustain me without the raft. And now, by His great power, He has taught me not merely to tread water, but to walk on it. So as situations still threaten to overwhelm, I keep my eyes on Him knowing I can take each step. The waves will crash under my feet and the rain will fall on my face, occasionally clouding my view, but I will not be overwhelmed. Where are you tempted to be overwhelmed today? Where are you tempted to doubt if God will pull you through or not? Think about all the times He’s come through for you before and the pain of your current situation, tell him how you feel. And let Him remind you of His love and His faithfulness.