I remember standing in that old church building, staring at the words on the screen, singing along to a song that I barely knew, but recognized enough from its repetitive play on the radio. when I got to the part about the Lord taking me to a place where my trust knew no borders...I couldn't sing anymore. I stopped cold. All of the sudden this top 20 Christian hit was a dagger in my heart. All the sudden this was more than just a nice women's conference. This was about to be life-changing and I knew it.
I love that this song, Oceans by Hillsong United, is about Peter. I so identify with Peter. He had such a deep heart. He also had an unfortunate penchant for speaking too soon, listening too little, and an astounding propensity for responding in a split-second, knee-jerk manner. That's me in a nutshell.
The story in the gospels where Peter jumps out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus has always been such an encouragement. To have the faith of Peter to believe that I could get out of the boat...
And then the way my heart warms and I feel a kinship to him as he sinks below the waves the minute he takes his eyes off Jesus. That's also me in a nutshell.
Deep-water faith in the shallow end.
I want to be brave. I want to have ocean-sized faith. I want to jump out of the boat and sprint to Jesus on the water. But more times than not, I get caught up in the waves: The waves of doubt, fear, worry, the everyday struggles...
I had no idea when I sang those words that God would soon be calling me out of a boat and asking me to walk across water.
I find myself, right now, dangling in the water, holding on to the side of the boat, gasping for breath. Most of the time, I keep my head above, but too often it dips below. Sometimes I see Jesus and sometimes I see nothing but the waves.
Why can't Jesus lead me across a still, shallow pond?
Even as I ask the question, I know the answer.
If He led me where I could go on my own, I wouldn't need Him. Here, gripping the sides of the boat, feet nowhere near touching the bottom, I have three choices: 1) Get back in the boat 2) Let go and keep my eyes on Jesus as I walk to Him, or 3) Drown.
I know I've come too far and offered myself to Him too much to get back in the boat. And I surely don't want to drown.
But the fear of taking those steps across the vast expanse separating Him from me is almost too much to bear.
What's worse? The fear of doing nothing and not trusting Him.
And He says,
'Come,' he said.
I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus. It's the only way to keep my head above the waves.