Quick, what image comes to mind when you think of drowning?
Is it a lake? The ocean? Maybe a swimming pool or even a bath tub?
When you take a moment to think about it, the truth is that drowning doesn't come about by what is around us, but what is inside of us. Drowning happens because there is too much fluid in the lungs, not around the body.
I've been thinking about crazy faith and that decision most of us will have to some day make. The decision to jump over this chasm that separates our past from our future. There are moments of epiphany, the aha!s in life, as Oprah would call them. These are moments when the most tremendous pain we ever experienced comes to its peak. The ultimate betrayal or loss or devastation that changes who we are or thought we were. All we have to survive with are the things we have gained thus far in our journey.
I'm sure that some people arrive to those moments fully equipped and ready to push through and beyond that personal worst moment. But I think more of us look in the face of whatever that disaster might be and say, "My God. I cannot do this."
And there is the time for leaping and living. Or drowning.
This is where we come to the end of ourselves and only here can God fully redeem us. We are redeemed in portions, I think. Oh, we are wholly saved and so our eternity is redeemed upon accepting the sacrifice of Christ and thereby giving over all there is left of us. It is what is left that is more slowly redeemed. Being quite human, we forget that we are dust and unable to fend for ourselves. And so the moment of being emptied out. The chasm in front. The drowning.
In the worst pain we experience the tiny flicker of hope that Christ might be enough. This is the birth of faith and truth that will redeem the things we have gathered along the way.
Or we might hold on to what we already know and understand to wrestle with pain ourselves. Nothing new gathered to our hearts because there is no room, refusing to be fully empty.
We do not drown in what surrounds us but what is inside of us.
Breathe out what was, breathe in redemption.
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."29"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."