Whenever I go to the ocean I have a need to walk along the water’s edge. I love the feel of the water flowing across the sand, crossing over my feet, and cascading to a stop at different points along the shore. This is the safest way to feel the ocean and experience just a piece of its force in its infancy.
Then there are days where I slowly walk out into the water, trying to stay about knee deep. I still feel some sense of control, but the wavering strength of the waves threatens to knock me off balance now and then. It is tolerable, refreshing and gives me a small adrenaline rush.
On rare occasion I have ventured out into depths where I can’t touch, past the break of the waves where the water is moving yet calmer. There is so much calm in this space where the waves haven’t quite cascaded and the shore is still within reach. Of course there are risks, but they are forgotten in the moment. I would never dare venture out past this point, a point of no return where swimming to the shore would take more energy than I could muster.
My relationship with the ocean is much like the depth of my faith. At the very edge where we dip our feet into the sand, we begin to explore our faith. It is exhilarating and topical as the Lord begins to reveal Himself to us. We invite others to enjoy the fun, the laughter, and the occasional unexpected depth.
Then as we grow in our knowledge of the Lord we thirst for more. We want to walk out in faith a little more, giving the Lord our hurts and relying on Him in times of uncertainty. This knee deep faith still gives us control of our lives, an ability to walk back to the shore and resume life as we knew it. It is in this space that we begin to play a tug-of-war with our will versus His will. We want what He has for us, but with conditions.
Then one day we stop wanting so much of us and we want what the Lord is offering. We are all in, completely committed to His will all the time. We want to work for Him, further His kingdom, and lean into Him all the time, in prosperity and pain. At this place of swimming, the shore is still within reach. We could choose to go back and the enemy tempts us with distractions and old hurts that fatigue us and send us swimming for shore.
Finally, lastly, there is that point of no return. There is a point where swimming deep into the ocean without a surfboard, scuba gear, or flotation device seems crazy. It is at this point of total reliance in our walk of faith that we get it. We know that we could never choose our will over His. We step out in faith completely, without abandon, ready to brave whatever wave of life comes our way, knowing it is part of His refinement and His plan for our lives.
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”