The ladder fell off the bunk bed the other day and I was jolted from my
iphone game house cleaning to terrified screams. I ran to the dangling child hanging on for dear life with her toes about 3 feet from the ground. I’ve seen her drop from a tree limb this high with no fear, so I stood behind her and told her to just let go. Tears and shrieks poured from her as she confessed her fear of letting go. I kept encouraging her, but it wasn’t going to break through her fear. I’ve helped her out of worse situations, so the fact that she didn’t trust me enough to just let go was baffling. It wasn’t until I put my hands on her back that she finally let go and dropped to the floor.
Feeling a little seasick from the wave tossed boat, the man tried to steady himself as he peered into the blinding storm. Every flash of lighting lit the scene of tumultuous waves that would flip the boat any minute. Each crash of thunder made his heart pound faster and faster. The darkness and the storm were the worst he had seen and all he could feel was fear.
Still squinting against the stinging rain he saw his friend step out of the boat.
“Hey man!!! Get back here! Are you crazy? You are in the middle of the sea in a storm. What are you doing?”
His friend smiled gently and somehow managed to stand in the middle of the waves and storm untouched.
“It’s just me, friend. Nothing to be scared of.”
Taking courage from seeing his friend standing there waiting for him, the man stepped from the boat and reached for the outstretched hand. The wind continued to shape the waves around him. He took his eyes off his friend for a moment and saw the danger of the reality around him. His fear came back to him as he began to sink under the weight of the waves and he cried out to his friend to save him.
Immediately he was hauled back into the boat by his friend and the storm began to subside.
“Why didn’t you trust me, old friend?”
Matthew 14: 22-33
So many times I am like my daughter and the man in the storm. I am being urged to let go and trust, but the fear is too great.
I think about the man in the boat. How many times had he willingly followed Jesus when the danger didn’t seem so great? How many wondrous things had he seen this man do? Yet when the waves were high and his fear was great, he couldn’t follow. He couldn’t remember the nature of his friend that wouldn’t let him fall.
My daughter has been plucked out of trees by me. She has been pulled out of places that she has been stuck. She has been saved and held away from an angry hornet nest. Yet when her fear of falling became too strong, she couldn’t follow my directions.
It’s easy in the calm times to willingly follow and trust, but what is it about those waves that cause us to forget how much we are loved and how many times we have been saved before?
Even as the man was sinking into the water and even as my daughter hang from the bed, they were never in danger. Love was too great to let them fall.
Despite my own fears in life and the times that I feel like I am sinking; love is too great to let me fall. Even when I do begin to fall, He never does, but helps me back into the boat. Standing in the middle of my storms is a calmness that stretches out his hand and says “Come. It’s me and there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Categories: March 2013 diary entry