Don’t look down!

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried out in fear. 

But Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid!  Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water. Come, he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me! 

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt? And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

Matthew 14v25-32

Jesus can walk on water.  Correction: Jesus DID walk on water – now He is risen and ascended He can do a lot more than that!  But somehow even when He was in an ordinary man’s body He was able to access supernatural ability to overcome natural barriers – like the fact that water just won’t hold a man’s weight. He knew something we don’t know – what Lewis’ Aslan calls ‘a deeper magic’; He put His trust in the things He couldn’t see more than the things He could.  No matter that it was 4am and the boat had left hours ago, no worries that there was also a storm on the lake, He had somewhere to be and so He set off…

As you would imagine, when the disciples first saw Him coming there was incredulous terror – ‘What’s THAT?!’  But when He spoke, new courage rose in their hearts – especially impetuous Peter’s:  ‘If You can do that I want to try it!’  You can imagine Jesus smiling through the spray at Simon, as he literally threw caution to the wind: it seems He loves that kind of reckless abandon – He calls it faith!

But then we reach the 3rd paragraph of the 4 part account – ‘Whatever was I thinking! These are WAVES!’  And that’s where I am right now…

Laugh at the photo – but I am not laughing.  Fear and doubt so easily creep in as soon as we lose sight of Jesus and get a good look at the storm around us. ‘Save me, Lord! The waves have hidden Your face from view!’ 

We have taken some crazy decisions lately – staked a lot on things that are not very solid – a bit like walking on the water, really.  You only do it if you hear the Lord say, Come! and faith rises in your heart.  I guess there is always going to be The Big Doubt to walk through in these situations.  I know it is true that Jesus is immediately to hand to save us from drowning if we call on Him – this is my experience and testimony! – but that doesn’t take away from the cry of fear that rises up at such times…

Having been mostly positive and encouraged over the last few weeks I was wobbled last night by my son as he poured out his unhappiness and frustrations and off-loaded his misery at the end of a difficult day.  Even after all we have done to ‘make things better’ – and things are better, at least for us! – being faced with the challenges of ‘real life’ outside the nest and the intensity of sharing a small space with a feisty young American woman, having no money and a broken computer – as well living with the prognosis hanging over him… it’s all a lot for a young man to bear.  I think his expectations of what life owes him are a bit idealistic and the ups and downs an intimate relationship entails are always a huge learning curve: his dreams seem way beyond anything that is possible, but he has always been an idealistic dreamer.  When I say, ‘what do you want to do?’ he doesn’t really know: ‘Just not this!’ It is painful and all I can say (with my fingers crossed!) is, ‘it won’t always be like this and you must look at the positive things about this time and be grateful’.  I counsel him to pray for hope, wisdom and peace and remind the Lord without Him its all downhill from here. Nothing is ideal in this life and people can’t change without supernatural help: Sam needs to see that redemption in his situation more than most!

Now the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
The kids are all standing with their arms folded tight
Now some things are pure and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight
I said some things are pure and some things are right
But the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight

So young, so young
So much pain for someone so young, well
I know it’s heavy I know it ain’t light
But how you gonna lift it with your arms folded tight?

‘Month of May’ from the album The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire

So yes… Martin and I have ‘climbed out of the boat’ in moving Sam and Jessa out and now committing to buying a house for them when her immigration status has to be settled and we don’t even know if Sam will stay well… so to see him struggling over the situation makes it all a lot harder!  Absolutely nothing is certain, like water underfoot: all I have is faith that we have heard the voice of the Lord and that is what I must not doubt.

BUT – at least Sam felt better by the time he left, even if it was a case of ‘Take the load off Sammy… and put the load right on me’ to mis-quote The Band!  I guess he just needs someone to hear him out from time to time – just as I do, which is why I blog! Call it a reality check/checkpoint where I must simply ‘wait for the Lord’ or vertigo as I pause on the mountain top or call it being overwhelmed by the wind and waves – when I feel nervous, anxious and even foolish, at least I do know the Lord is right there and yes, He can and will save me from drowning.

Thanks for listening!


About Sally Ann

True-story teller - words and pictures
This entry was posted in Life choices, Mothering, Sam's journey. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Don’t look down!

  1. Jo Bentham says:

    Always listening. Keeping on praying. Keep on riding those waves. Faith is indeed an extreme sport.


  2. John Lowton says:

    Great post Sally Ann…One step at a time, how different events in life mirror one another, the immigration maze and life itself both requiring stepping out, but we can only take the next step…I blessed x

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