Stepping out of the boat is not the scary part. It’s being in the water.
I said this, or something like it, earlier today over coffee. I was visiting with a new friend. A woman I met last week at a conference, whose story was similar to mine, and we decided to get together to share more. It was good.
Danielle is a Life Coach, with a blog called One Foot in the Water: Blogging to inspire fearless faith in the face of everyday life. And she told me over coffee, “My passion is to help people find the courage to step out of the boat.”
Without even thinking I said it. Stepping out of the boat takes less courage than staying in the water.
I was thinking, of course, about my own step out. My family’s step out. And we’ve made the comparison many times. Months ago we’d hear songs on the radio about water, and we’d claim them as our own.
Kari Jobe singing – Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me…
We sang along.
And yes – saying yes was scary. I’ve said it before. My insides shook for several days after we pushed “send.” And there were moments of real fear in the journey.
But being in the water has been the true test. It is here in the deep, no going back, where our courage has failed.
And suddenly the story makes sense. Peter was bold in the boat. Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water (Matthew 14:28). I’m amazed at how I can relate. Yes! Jesus, if this is you, I’ll say yes. I’ll follow! And really, you hardly realize you’re stepping out at first, eyes fixed as they are on Jesus. All you see is Him.
But then, too late, you realize, and you panic. It was when Peter saw the wind and the water, the terror struck and he began to sink. “Lord, save me!”
What have I done?
Here in the water the fear is so much stronger. Out of our control. It’s far more gut reaction than choice. We don’t mean to be afraid, but the panic is real. “Lord, save me!” And now I know what I didn’t before. In the water our only hope is to cling desperate to Jesus.
We were there last night. Kyle and I. Desperate, clinging, wet with the water of fear. Night is always worse, isn’t it? But last night’s fear turned out good. We clung to each other, and we cried out to Jesus, and he heard us. He reached out his hand in the dark, and he came to our rescue. He pulled us out.
A year or so ago I remember telling friends about how our yes to God felt less like a decision and more like a wild leap. And we hoped God was there to catch us.
Now we know. He’s there.