Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting Out of the Boat...Or Not.

I'm not doing well.

I'm doing better physically, though I'm still not 100% yet. But what really pains me right now is how poorly I've done on my own challenge. You remember--the pursuing God challenge?

The very day I issued that challenge, I came down sick. Very sick. And it threw a lot of things in my life, including this. And what I want to do is blame my current spiritual lassitude on having been sick. That would be justifiable, right?

But it wouldn't be honest.

Though my health certainly made spending time with the Lord more of a challenge, the real problem is this:

I've discovered that I've got both feet firmly planted in the boat.

And I do mean firmly. I am not even close to being a risk-taker. Once, on a (3-hour, professionally-administered) temperament analysis test, I scored a 3 out of 100 on risk-taking. Get the picture? I am in NO WAY a risk-taker. If you have ever seen me take a risk, just know that it was a God-thing.

And as it turns out, getting out of the boat is risky.

Here's my current struggle: There was a sacrifice that it occurred to me to make, one that would cost me dearly, financially as well as emotionally, and would have even 'cost' those around me, too. It came to me suddenly, but quietly, so quietly that I wasn't honestly sure that it was God's voice.

And I didn't want to make it.

So I questioned it. I justified it. I finagled it until it wasn't God. I became sure it wasn't God. Or if it was God, the question was just a test, a reminder of an attitude I needed to have.

So I didn't make the sacrifice.

And now, I have the strong and sinking feeling that it WAS God, and it WAS a test...and that I failed with a score of 0 out of 100.

And I so don't want to be me right now.

This feeling is so overwhelming that I have a genuine fear that I have missed something very significant. The kind of something that never gets redeemed. And it makes my heart hurt to think that I am so tied to this world and my comfort and safety that I wouldn't act in faith when God called on me.

I want to be a woman of faith.

But the truth is, today, this month, now, I'm not. I am a woman who's treasure is gonna rot soon, whose fear of the storm keeps her--as it did 11 of the disciples--from even seriously considering getting out of the boat.

And can I tell you that it is those eleven guys that give me hope? I've so often identified with Peter--zealous in heart, but the actions get all mixed up in practice. And promises made, but broken. But in this case, I see myself with the other disciples in the boat and ask myself if they too wondered, "Will I ever get a chance to actually try this again...and get it right?"

And just to be clear, there is no record in Scripture that they did get to take that particular test over again. But each of them did fulfill his mission of being a witness to Christ to the ends of the earth. And that gives me hope.

But it still hurts.

Still His, but faithless,
-J

You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel. -Psalm 69:5-6, NIV
...If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. - 2 Timothy 2:12-14, NIV

7 comments:

Thankful Paul said...

Hello

Big Man for Jesus said...

Sis,

I hurt with you but praise God for His grace. I leave you with the only words of value: Gods'. Love, Your Bro

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

P.S. So, now what? Phil. 3:12-14

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

What a brother you have! :)

I could have written this...except it would not have sounded so eloquent and perfectly put. Same situation, different circumstances.

Praising God that He is so SO much bigger than we are. He doesn't need us to get it right in order for His plan to work...He'll manuver around us and work us back in :)

Have I told you lately how thankful I am for our bloggy friendship?!? Can't wait till heaven when we can sit around and chat in person :)

Beth said...

this is so neat, I have been thinking about this same idea, sometimes God calls us to do things that don't make sense and things that involve risk.
Thanks for sharing! I need this! really!

suzann said...

I also accepted the challenge, and feel like there have been roadblocks in my path distracting me right and left. Coincidence? Ha! I know there's no way they are!

On the other hand, I am so thankful that it's not too late. I still have the chance to start again. What a merciful God we have! :) <3

Rachel said...

Have you read the book by John Ortberg If You Want to Walk on Water You Have TO Get Out of the Boat. Your blog reminded me it a bit. The water walking at least.

I don't know what your are refering to, but are very wise when it comes to your decisions. Sometimes risk takers forget to ask for God's direction and jump out of the boat and drown.

joyce said...

okay, I give up. Please email me whatall you are regretting?? if I may be so bold??

a guy? a job? you hint of it costing those around you, but I am dense.

the word verification today is PLATE--as in whatall do you have on your plate? I usually don't see word verification words that make sense.