Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Walk on Water

This past Sunday, Marie and I spent one of our last "free" days relaxing by the sea. No lesson plans, no class rosters, no crowds, no fee to get on the beach (best part!). Just us and the sun, sand, sea, a large iced coffee, and a good read. 

As we were swimming in the water a nearby woman on a floating inner tube approached us asking if we were getting ready to start school, mostly likely meaning going back to college. I said very confidently "Actually, we're teachers!  So yes!" I think that was the first time I said that. The first time I had acknowledged new identity as a teacher. This is the start of a whole new part of my identity, one that I had always dreamed about ever since I was 5 and making up quizzes to give to my siblings and stuffed animals.

While it's all so thrilling and exciting and finally here, to be completely honest, I'm terrified. And once again I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into. All of a sudden I will be placed at the front of the classroom with an immense amount of responsibility. I will be in charge and able to make my own decisions and control the flow of the class. I'm the teacher. I'm the adult. Am I ready for this? What if they ask a question and I don't know the answer? What if they make fun of me and think I'm weird? What if they don't think I'm funny? (Who am I kidding, of course they will....). What if I'm not this amazing, extraordinary teacher everyone thinks I'll be? What if I let them down? What if I let myself down? I feel scared out of my mind and worried that I somehow chose the wrong program or wrong school or wrong occupation all together! 

All of a sudden I feel a calmness wash over me. I can feel the warm sun on my back and cool breeze on my face. I can feel the ocean spray as it laps against the rocks where I am sitting. I see the waves tossing a boat strapped to a buoy and I wonder how often do we feel like that? Secure and peaceful at one moment like a boat on the calm water, only to be tossed about and then barely clutching on at another when the waves become rough.

I'm reminded and perhaps greatly comforted by the whimperings and terror of the disciples, especially Peter, as soon as the storm approached:
“Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, He came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to Him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mt 14:24-31).
Peter, cries, “Lord, save me!” Peter begins to doubt not only in His abilities, but also His trust in the Lord. He cries, “Lord, save me!” Even despite the roaring wind and sea, Jesus reaches His hand out to Peter and pulls him to safety.
What storms and wind and tumultuous waves are we faced with in life? How many times do we find ourselves floating on only to be hit by something and paralyzed by fear? We begin to doubt in ourselves and in the God who is perpetually there for us.
Like Peter, I often find myself feeling weak and inadequate. I start to believe I can no longer walk on the water and cry out to be saved. But no matter the burden, no matter the situation that has taken away any confidence, my faith in Jesus, my faith in the Lord has never stopped saving me. I just need to open my eyes to it.

I pray that you experience God working in your own life each day and are able to continue to walk on water with the Lord at your side

1 comment:

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