Last Sunday my family went for a catamaran ride.
I don’t think I even knew what a catamaran was before last week. But while up on Santa Cruz for a week—thanks to generous cousins making their beach cottage available to us—my dad found that joining a group on a catamaran would be a cheaper option than kayaking and a more stable trip than a regular sailboat.
I was in favor of that, as my only experience sailboating thus far had been when at age three (yes, I remember it), a sailboat rental place sent my parents and me out alone on a choppy sea with very little idea what we were doing. The boat spent the majority of the time trying to tip perpendicular to the water while my dad tried to convince it otherwise and my mom and I held on tight and prayed.
Apparently once we finally reached solid ground again, three-year-old Kiersti solemnly pronounced, “The Lord saved us.”
But I digress. So on this lovely Sunday afternoon, we sailed out from the harbor into the wide blue bay. And I enjoyed this sailing excursion far more than the last—as long as I stayed tightly seated on the deck, with something to hold onto when things got a bit choppy.
It got me thinking, being out there on the water for an hour, watching the ocean’s expanse steadily widen around us, the swells increasing as we got closer to the open sea.
“Jesus spent a lot of time in a boat out on the sea,” my mom remarked.
He did. And so did His disciples.
I thought about them, as I sat there on the catamaran. I thought about Peter, when Jesus invited him to walk out on the water. Looking down at the greenish-blue slosh of sea I couldn’t guess the depth of, I wondered if I’d have the courage. And the “Oceans” chorus by Hillsong that has become beloved in contemporary worship over the past year or so started running through my mind.
I feel like He’s been “calling me out upon the waters” lately. Right now it feels like almost everything in my life is changing. I’m getting married in a few months—still hard at times to wrap my mind around. And this week, I started teacher orientation for a brand-new job teaching English at a private Christian international school, which all fell into place very quickly over the past few weeks.
Good changes, these are, and I believe from the Lord. But between juggling a mountain of teacher-prep with another semi-mountain of wedding-prep, I definitely feel the waters flowing high. And sometimes I seem to be sinking down over my head.
Funny I happened to read about Jesus calming the storm on the sea in Matthew this morning. Which led to me reading that story about Him calling Peter out upon the water.
Today as I drove from CPR training to TB test clinic to fingerprinting service, trying to get all those last-minute bits of teacher paperwork in place, I wondered why God sometimes seems to like to give us more than we can handle. I know, then we realize we really need Him—the whole power-perfected-in-weakness thing—but I wasn’t fully satisfied with that answer today.
But then I realized there’s more to it than that. His power perfected in our weakness isn’t just an end in itself, but it’s then He can do the most beautiful things, far more amazing than if He’d just left us to mosey along on our own with tasks we think we can do on our own.
So I hope, as I step out on these new waters—if with trembling legs at times—He’ll help me learn to lean on Him in ways I haven’t before. And see His strength-in-my-weakness lead to beautiful things that show me, and others, more of who He is.
How is He calling you out upon the waters right now?
Oh, and if you want to listen to “Oceans” after all that—I do!—here it is. You’re welcome. 🙂