There was this one spot at our hotel in Haiti I found myself constantly drawn to. A stone wall with large concrete steps leading down to the beach. Ants were always crawling around and it was right in the sun’s path, but it was quiet and had an amazing view of the ocean.
Over the course of the week we spent in Haiti, I probably sat at that spot for a solid 5 hours, just watching the waves come crashing in and enjoying some quiet time to think and reflect on what I’d seen. I felt God moving so much in my heart in that spot. Truth be told, a quiet spot like that is one of the things I miss most.
One night, I felt overwhelmed with everything, more so than usual. After dinner, I made my way to this spot to discover it was high tide. When I was here in the afternoon, the coast extended some 25 feet. Now, the water reached to the base of the steps. I could feel the mist from the waves as they crashed. Some of the more powerful waves actually washed onto the bottom steps.
Not going to lie, sitting so close to this display of oceanic power was intimidating.
I hadn’t sat down for too long before a thought came to me and it still hasn’t left. That spot called to me with its beautiful view, sounds coming only from the waves, and having the opportunity to spend some time alone with my thoughts and with Jesus. But now the ocean had come closer and I don’t know that I cared for it as much. The once peaceful sounds of the waves now felt like an assault on my ears. I couldn’t help but think of what a bad misstep would mean out in the middle of that mess.
What once called to me now crippled me with fear.
This thought really stuck out to me because that’s where I’m at with life in general. I know God has put a large calling on my heart. While I usually see the positives of this calling – the beauty, the fulfillment, the eternal impact – there are times when the thought of what that calling entails intimidates me to the point where I want to step away from it all.
The more I’ve thought about that night, the more the story of Jesus walking on the water found in the Gospels comes to mind. On a dark and stormy night that made my night look like child’s play, the disciples were trying to sail through a terrible storm. Out on the violent waves, they spot what they believe is a ghost walking on the water. Peter recognizes the figure as Jesus and, without hesitation, jumps out of the boat and begins to walk on the water himself toward Jesus. But as soon as he takes his eyes off Jesus, the water begins to swallow him up until Jesus reaches out and saves him.
The more I grow in my relationship with God, the more I identify with Peter. It’s easy to start off all gung-ho with what God has called me to. Inevitably, life happens and my focus moves to whatever storms I face. Because my focus shifts to these troubles and away from God, I feel like I’m starting to drown. But, for some reason, God lovingly pulls me back out of the waves every time. Regardless of how big or how frequent the screw up.
As I continue to grow, I learn more and more that keeping my focus on God is so vital to staying afloat. It doesn’t make all the problems straight up disappear. It still isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But day by day, the fears and the doubts disappear and in their place comes faith in God and His everlasting love for me.