“I could understand if I was lost
On a road I didn’t know
And there were no signs
To tell me where
I should or shouldn’t go
But I find myself
Lost in a place
That was my own,
That was my home
And I turn around
Just to find, I’m all alone.
And I just can’t see Your plan for me
Cuz the dark has made me blind
And what once I knew
Has all been left behind.”
It’s funny or ironic that I wrote these words 19 years ago after my husband died, and yet they resurfaced in my head today as being a present day feeling I have yet AGAIN. It is that proverbial changing of the guards, or more so the changing of the seasons. Maybe being misplaced is less about being lost, and more about moving on FROM where you are at? Perhaps the feeling of being lost is just that I am now out in deeper waters – uncharted waters where I have NEVER been before.
I watched the finale of season three of ‘The Chosen’, when Jesus walked on the water to the boat with the disciples on board, in the middle of raging waters. I have heard the story 100 times in my life but to see it in a visual was like, WOW. To SEE the storm raging, to hear the fear in the disciple’s voices, and to see Jesus calmly walking to them ON TOP of the waves – well, it wrecked me. I did NOT expect my own reaction. It felt like He was coming for me. I think I could relate to them in the boat, feeling like – I have been in these fishing waters before but never in waves like this, and feeling lost and probably fearing for their lives. But then there is Jesus. Just like always – He shows up – He walked out TO them – so they could SEE Him walking on the water.
JESUS MEETS US WHERE WE ARE
When Peter got out of the boat and walked over to Him, and started to sink (which I do often, so I can relate) you could see Simon go under and then you saw the hand of Jesus pull him out of the deep – and Simon begged “please don’t let me go.” I sobbed. I feel that way. Please don’t let me go.
It is a weird experience to not feel at home in your own skin, or to not feel welcomed by your own self – and to doubt everything you count familiar, as all of a sudden feeling alien to you. So, what if you come to the end chapter(s) of your life, and all of a sudden you feel like you don’t fit in your own story anymore. Now what? Just me? Anybody else? Good to note Jesus meets us right where we are, right when we need Him most, and right when we think we can’t go on. We may have to get OUT of our boat (what is familiar to us) and trade it for what is scary and unfamiliar (oh you know, walking on water which is something we don’t normally do, and CAN’T do without faith).
So, this unfamiliar scary road that beckons me on is a good thing – I NEED to walk on the water/ I NEED to put ALL my faith in Jesus/ I NEED to trust Him NOT to leave me alone or let me sink beneath the waves. My heart’s cry is like Peter’s words – “Please don’t let me go.”
JESUS’PERFECT LOVE FOR US
“On this rock I will build My church.” Jesus was talking about SIMON. The one who would sink down in the water and needed rescued; the one who would deny ever knowing Him – whoa. What an ultimate betrayal – to have literally trudged thru the hills of Judea, built campfires with Him, prayed with Him, ate meals with Him, watched Him perform miracles, have been granted the SAME power to do the SAME miracles in His name, and – it all comes down to the words, “I never knew Him”. I can NOT even imagine the bitter revelation that hit his own heart as he spoke those words – how his soul must have instantly churned into a tight ball of horror. And it wasn’t just once that He denied knowing Jesus – it was THREE times. And yet – again – remember these words Jesus said of Peter – “On this rock I will build My church.” This was the place of his name change to Peter (like Jacob to Israel) In Matthew 16:18, “Jesus said to Simon, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell will not overpower it.”
I think for me personally what I get MOST out of this story is NOT Simon’s failure, but Jesus’ perfect love FOR Simon. Can any one of us prove ourselves worthy of such love? Can I? Maybe I am always striving for some unattainable perfection – we MUST remember that Jesus came for those of us who need rescued, for those of us who deny Him, for those of us who cannot save ourselves – good to note, this is ALL of us.
Don’t you love that Jesus saw past Simon’s betrayal and saw the heart of a man who just couldn’t seem to ever get it right, no matter how hard he tried? Aren’t we all a little bit Simon? Maybe Simon needed to get a bird’s eye view of the depths of his own heart – in order to truly grasp who Jesus was. To know and believe that his worst failure was no match for the great love of Jesus extended to him. Wow. I wonder if once we REALLY get this, that THIS is where it happens that even HELL can NOT stand against us.
WALKING IN DEEPER WATERS
The deepest part of the Pacific Ocean is 36,161′. Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee which is 141’ deep. The miracle of Him walking on the water was NOT measured against the depth of the waters or the force of the wind – it was that He DID walk on it – 141’ or 35,161’ – He did the impossible. I am asking for the faith to walk on the waters – ALL the waters as they appear before me, knowing He will give me courage and grace to walk ON the stormy waves, OR He will part them right down the middle so I can cross on dry land. Either or.
In this season of me feeling like I can’t get it right – like I am sinking fast in deep waters – like I am lost in my own life – like all the landmarks have been removed or relocated – I am asking (no – begging) Jesus to NOT let go of me. I am asking for Him to help me write the ending of my story worthy of His name and for His glory.
“Hold on to me when it’s too dark to see You
When I am sure I have reached the end
Hold on to me when I forget I need You
When I let go, hold me again
When I don’t feel like I’m worth defending
When I’m tired of all my pretending
Hold on to me
When I start to break in desperation
Underneath the weight of expectation
Hold on to me
Hold on to me.”
(“Hold On To Me” by Lauren Daigle)
When we finally see who we are NOT, then we can see Jesus for who He IS. And deep waters, extreme waves, raging winds and storm surges won’t stop us – like Simon, when he kept his eyes on Jesus and moved forward in faith, indeed he walked on water. And so can we.
“You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen…
And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You only take so much
Walk on. Walk on…
Home – I can’t say where it is
But I know I’m going…
Walk on, walk on…”
(“Walk On” lyrics by Kendall Hayes/sung by Darlene Zschech)
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