Walking on Water, Part 2

April 5, 2017

(See also Walking on Water, Part 1)

We’ve been through many storms; but this one feels different, doesn’t it?

Our boat is quaking. Our country is shaking. The Church as we know it is churning.

We would prefer to ignore all this. To go on with life as usual. To pretend we don’t feel the changes in the wind and the tide…

We desperately want to shut our eyes against the darkness closing in around us.

Yet this is where we find ourselves on this particular evening in history. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” I John 5:19

At some point, we have to face it. We have to accept it. We have to deal with it.

The winds are contrary, and they are rising. They are pressing against us – they are pushing us back. The waves are rocking us hard.

Everything we know is being tossed. Everything familiar. Everything that defines us and what we know and who we are.

Even those of us who had preciously fallen asleep in the boat are being shaken awake by these waves.

We’re starting to murmur. We’re praying. We’re rowing.

We’re reaching into the depths of our strength to hold on, trying to maintain our balance, to keep our heads clear. We’re clinging desperately to the sides of our boat.

But we’re losing our grip.

We’re falling into each other. We’re falling over.

All our frantic rowing is no match for these winds and these waves.

Everything we tried before isn’t working now.

It’s pitch black.

We can’t see where we’re headed. We can’t see a way through this storm.

Where is the Master?

Can’t He see we’re tossing? Can’t He see we’re being blown backward?

Some of our most seasoned of fishermen are being swept away by the threatening waves. So many are losing their bearings in the darkness.

It’s enough to make us panic.

Our nation, our Christian heritage, our culture, our Church…they are on the brink of being lost forever in the middle of the sea.

Where is our Master? Why is He sending our little boat straight toward this darkness?

All the while we have been sailing along in our old, familiar boat…some of us watching, some of us rowing, some of us nodding off to sleep…

As the winds have been swirling and growing and gathering strength…

As the night has grown deeper and darker around us…and our trusty boat has started to shake…

The Master has been on His mountain praying.

Praying with tears. Praying with passion. Praying with power.

For me. For you.

For His Bride.

For His warriors who are fighting now.

For His wandering children who are lost and searching for Him.

He’s been praying for the Father’s great will to be done.

He’s been praying over the storm.

Now is the hour to keep watch. This is the moment to peer out through the blinding sea spray into the darkness; because if we keep our eyes open, we will soon see Him approaching. We will see Him at work.

A silhouette.

In the place we least expect to find Him. Doing something that won’t at first make sense. Something counter-intuitional. Something out of the blue.

At first glance we may not recognize Him. We might be terrified and wonder if it’s really Him…

Father, give us ears to hear and faith that sees!

It’s Him!!

He is in the wind! He is in the darkness! He is riding on top of the waves!

He is present and moving in the storm.

He’s not scared by these great winds. He’s not intimidated by these waves.

He is Light!

He is doing something great. Something wholly unexpected. Something beautiful.

Something new.

There is a Great Light present in the deepening darkness and the mounding waves.

We are not alone.

We have seen what He can do in the past, haven’t we? We have seen Him do marvelous things. We’ve seen Him as a nation, we’ve seen Him as His Church, we’ve seen Him as individuals.

Every miracle we’ve seen, every answer to prayer, every triumph of faith we have ever known…it’s time to call them all up.

It’s time to remember them. To dwell on them. To speak them out loud to each other.

The active presence of God has trained us and prepared His beloved children for this moment in history – for a moment when we have no other option but to face a rising storm.

This isn’t where we expected to find Him, is it? It isn’t where we expected to find ourselves. We don’t want to accept that this dark and rising storm is part of His plan…

But if we keep watch, we can join what He is doing in the storm!

Although it feels like it’s blowing us backward, this contrary wind is carrying us all forward toward another point in history – a beautiful day when all the howling storms of this world will be over forever.

He is gathering up the great winds and the howling storm and the blackness – all of it! – He’s squeezing it together in His magnificent, powerful hands and twisting it all into a path that will lead us – and many more with us!! – straight through the long night and over the tops of the raging waves. He’s taking this ugly, bitter storm that is of the Enemy and using it to build a straight and beautiful highway to the Other Side where His Light shines bright and crystal waters stretch out endlessly as smooth as glass.

This storm must come because it is growing our faith, proving His power and moving all of us – all of history, all of mankind – closer to the Other Side.

All the mighty acts of God we have seen and heard about and known in the past are calling out to us to now, inviting us to trust.

To rise up.

To step out into the depths of the darkness where Jesus is doing something new and great and wholly unexpected. Where He is getting ready to do something bigger than us, something that will explode and expand the outer limits of our faith.

 “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” I John 5:4

If He did those things around us and for us and through us in the past, what else can He do around us and for us and through us?

Those moments of clarity in seeing and touching God have built up in us the courage and faith we need for such a time as this: for this darkness, for this storm.

He has prepared us, and He is with us.

The moon and the stars are hidden. Right now all we can see is darkness up ahead.

But that doesn’t mean the Light isn’t there.

Can you see Him?

Can you hear His voice?

“Take courage,” He says. “It is I; do not be afraid.”

Instead of letting Him pass by us this night when our country and our world are shaking and so rapidly changing and our hands growing raw from clinging so desperately to the edges of our boat…let’s let go.

Let’s let go of the edges of our old rickety boat.

Let’s cry out with Peter, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

And the moment He says, “Come,” let’s swing our legs up and over and away from the side of the boat.

His strong arm and His peaceful presence is there in the darkness to meet us.

 Even if our worst fears come true, even if we falter and begin to sink in deep water that is over our heads…

We will not drown.

He invites His precious Bride to rise up in faith and walk through the darkness and into the howling wind…straight ahead on top of the raging waves to where He stands on the water, mighty in power.

Truly He is the Son of God.

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.” Revelation 12:1, 2

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18, 19

“They looked…and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.” Exodus 16:10

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