Keep showing up to your life, I whisper in a borderline prayer, coaxing myself from the safe haven of my sheets.
There are mornings I don’t want to get out of bed. There are mornings when my anxiety feels like it will overtake me, mornings when it feels like hope is a lie and peace is a dreamy fairy tale only for the lucky few. There are mornings when it seems there’s no end in sight for the knots that threaten to twist my insides so tightly I am unable to breathe, unable to think, unable to whisper words of surrender to the God I long to believe hears me when I cry out to him.
As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.
Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” (The Message, Matthew 14:22-27)
Where are you, God? I cry aloud through tears. Why won’t you just heal me? Why won’t you fix this? Are you mad at me? I’m sorry. Are you listening? Hello? Do whatever you want with my life, use me…or don’t. I don’t care anymore, I just need you. I just need your peace. I can’t live like this for another day.
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” (Matthew 14:28-30)
I can’t do it, God. I don’t want to. I am seeking to follow you, I’ve stepped out in faith – I AM TRYING. I was confident at first, excited even, but then things shifted. Something in my heart is broken, I MUST be broken. I want to keep me eyes on you, but I can’t seem to stop looking back, remembering the pain of the past. Nothing makes sense. Help me Lord, give me the faith I need. I want to believe you hear me, but I’m still so unsure. I am still so scared. I can’t stop wondering if you really like me, if you really have good things for me. Maybe you want to punish me for my failures or you’ve forgotten me. Maybe you just don’t care. WHERE ARE YOU? TELL ME WHAT TO DO. Tell me how to fix this.
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!” (Matthew 14:31-33)
And then it breaks.
Something cracks and a little light gets in. Peace first, then joy starts to fill the dark corners. It doesn’t come without a fight, but that’s ok – they say the best things are worth fighting for.
Because some days getting out of the boat looks huge to the outside world; a huge leap of faith, the moving of mountains and other days it simply means getting out of bed, getting dressed and showing up to your life, believing with feeble faith that God will show up too.
And He will. Because He said He would. So we hope.