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Walking on Water

It was close to midnight on a weeknight, as I sat at my desk, attempting to get some work done. The cries and questions of my heart overshadowed the demands of my job once again.

Only a few short weeks into our long distance dating relationship, I had already had it with the hurt, the constant feeling of rejection, compounded by my own insecurities about myself.  I was slightly overweight and not particularly feminine, making me feel ugly and unloveable.  Deep down inside, I wondered if my lack of physical beauty took me out of the running with any totally straight man I would be attracted to.  I’m so ugly only my gay friend would even consider dating me was the lie it took years to get over.   Added on top of my insecurity was his need to test out the waters of dating very slowly.  His deliberation with every move we made, though motivated by genuine care for me and an attempt to guard my heart, was like rubbing salt and lemon juice into an already deep wound and tonight I had had enough.

In desperation, I opened my bible completely randomly for answers from the One I was sure had brought us together.  It landed on Matthew 14, and my eyes quickly settled on the passage where Jesus walks on water.  His words to his disciples, who didn’t recognize him on the water, were his extremely personal words to me that night:

 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

I knew in that moment God was speaking to me.  He didn’t analyze the psychology of what was going on.  He didn’t tell me how it would all turn out.  But He affirmed that it was He who began this relationship, and I was looking at the wrong place by focusing on David’s shortcomings and my unmet needs.  My task was to look at Him and Him alone.  I didn’t need to wallow in my fears.  I could take courage and look to Him.  And as I took courage, I could walk on water too, as Peter miraculously did.

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

      Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Dating and possibly marrying David was essentially as impossible a task as walking on water, but I felt so strongly in that moment that the Spirit was saying to me that the impossible would be made possible if I kept my eyes fixed on Jesus (and not David).

My spirit broke, tears poured out, and I surrendered myself once again to the God who had never failed me yet, whom I could trust to be faithful even when we were not.

30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Peter, fixing his eyes on Jesus and obeying his call to come, did the impossible; he walked on water.  But when he took his eyes off of Jesus and let his logic come into play (“Hey, this is impossible!  How can anyone walk on water at all, much less with all this wind?”) he began to sink.  He was at least smart enough to cry out to Jesus to save him, but he could have walked all the way to Jesus had he not lost focus on the source of his miracle.

Our story is one of a lot of sinking, a lot of cries to Jesus to save us, along with periods of not even calling on Jesus to help at all, and some awesome times of walking on water.  Ultimately, our story is one beautifully written by Jesus Himself, the author and perfecter of our faith.  He is the One that has led us to a pretty flourishing marriage today, over a decade and many, many storms after that fateful night in my room.  Today we are one in spirit and together able to battle the storms of life that come at us.  But honestly, this is a fairly recent development.  Many years were spent battling each other, or ourselves, or not even putting up a fight, but simply losing at the war of life.  But the one thing that has been clear through it all is it is God who is masterfully writing our story, and we can trust Him to finish this good work that He has begun in us.

photo by atomicjeep

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