Friday, April 16, 2010

Out of the Boat - Part 2

I have a very active imagination.

I know what you're thinking . . . "Yeah, we sorta figured that out ever since you admitted that you've been walking around with detailed, novel length stories in your head. You're a loon."

True. I take full responsibility for my own weirdness.

But, I find having a very active imagination to be a gift. When I read verses like Eph. 3:20 where it says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine . . . well, I think . . . whoohoo! Bring it! 'Cause this girl can imagine some pretty amazing scenarios!!

So I started wondering about the other disciples in the boat. There they are, the twelve, thinking this might be their last night because they are losing the fight. Jesus shows up, walking across the rolling seas. And Peter. I do love Peter. Talk about a man with an imagination. I mean, really! Where did he come up with this? "If you are who you say you are, ask me to come to you on the water." What kind of question is that? But that's not really the point of this post - that's a freebie!

Sometimes I find the things Scripture doesn't tell us as interesting as what it does. We have no idea what the eleven guys in the boat did while Peter was tiptoeing over the waves. But our own experience gives us some good ideas.

So picture it. Imagine it was you in the boat. And your buddy starts climbing out. What would you do?

"Peter! Don't!" Frightened hands reaching to restrain him.

"I always knew he'd do something stupid and get himself killed. He just doesn't think." Deep sigh.

"Show off." Eyes rolling.

"Who does he think he is? He can't walk on water. He's always been a bit arrogant but really, this is taking it to extremes. When he goes down, we're all going to get wet trying to save his sorry self." Righteous indignation.

I find it interesting that while the account of Jesus walking on the water is found in Matthew, Mark and John, only Matthew records Peter's part in the drama. I wonder if John was embarrassed that he didn't think of it first. I know . . . I know . . . Scripture is inspired and clearly God wanted Matthew to tell the story. I get it. Just work with me here!

Maybe Matthew was the one who was most jealous. Or most impressed. Keep in mind, they all heard Jesus. They knew Jesus had called Peter to come. They didn't just have to take his word for it. But still . . . he got out of a boat. In the middle of a storm.

I have some friends who are "out of the boat" - and in far more spectacular ways than me.

An acquaintance at church who, even though she has young children at home, has opened up her home and heart to foster children in need. I am blown away by that! I'm not sure I could do it.

A dear friend who, even though it makes absolutely no sense to most people, has put her home on the market. Why? They are downsizing their lives so they can be better positioned to go on short term missions trips. To Africa! With the whole family! I've known this girl for years. She's been a faithful and dear friend, but it was only a few months ago when she said "I've always had a heart for Africa." Really? I had NO IDEA.

I could go on. I know of two others who are serving on foreign fields. Single. No real hope of ever marrying. But they felt the call and they answered it.

And the biggest question they hear is "Why?" And sadly, when they say, "Because I felt called to do it" people often look at them like they've lost their minds.

I've wondered about my own reactions. When I hear of someone who is living their life, totally and completely sold out to Christ. Willing to take whatever steps they feel him calling them to take. Even if it seems nuts. Have I looked down my nose? "Don't they know what this will do to their children?" Questioned the timing? "Maybe that would be fine in a few years, but now?" Wondered what their decision might cost me? "They are so selfish - I'll have to pick up the slack."

No, we don't have the benefit of hearing the call ourselves. But maybe we should remember that for the one who is called, there is only one option.

Getting out of the boat made NO SENSE!

But getting out of the boat was the ONLY thing that made sense.

Because Jesus said "Come"!
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