My Right Now Life

learning to fully embrace this moment and fully live right now…


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Get Out of the Boat!

A while back, a friend told me about something she had heard on the radio.  As she flipped through the stations, she caught the tail-end of a conversation.  We don’t know who it was, or even what program it was on.  The voice came through the speakers in her car and asked, “When Peter decided to hop out of a fishing boat in a storm and walk on the water toward Jesus, which of his feet was harder to get out of the boat?”

My friend said she thought this message was for me.  Turns out, she was right.

Because I was in the middle of a storm.  It felt a little like the ship was going down.  Everything I was comfortable with and felt secure in was being tossed around, much like a ship in a hurricane.

And yet, I heard Jesus calling to me, “Come.”

As in, “Come to Me… Trust me… Just take a step.”

I thought about the question asked by that pastor.  Here Peter is, in a boat in a storm, and he thinks he sees a ghost out on the water.  When he realizes, it’s not a ghost, but instead it’s Jesus, Peter gets this crazy idea.  It sounds almost like a dare, a challenge:  “If that’s really you, Jesus… then tell me to get out of the boat.”

How many times in my life have I taken the same approach with God?  In my doubt, in my fear, in my pride… I’ve said it, too:  “If that’s really you, Jesus, then tell me to do this crazy thing that makes no logical sense.”  Because in my heart, I’m thinking there’s no way that crazy thing can happen, and God would never ask me to walk on water (or quit my job, or end a relationship, or get help for that addiction, or a million other crazy things).  And yet at the same time, something in me actually wants to do the crazy stuff for God because I want to know that God can be trusted.  I want to watch the miracle.

I think… God can use a heart like that.  The heart that just wants to trust, even if on the surface it is stubborn and prideful.  For me, my stubborn pride is just the outer veneer of a heart that really just desperately longs to do the impossible so that I can tell others how God is changing me.

I wonder if that’s what Peter was thinking, too.  I wonder if Peter really longed to see God do the miracle, and his “dare” was just an indirect way of asking Jesus to do something big.

Jesus did.  He simply said, “Come.”

Ok – so it’s one thing to say, “Ok, God.  I trust you.  And if you want me to leap out of this boat and do the impossible, I will.”  But DOING it?  One leg out, then the other… That’s a whole different animal!

So which one of Peter’s feet required more faith to get out of the boat?  I think it could go either way, but for me, I think it’s the second foot.

Because in my own life, I’ve had countless moments of bold courage where nothing was going to keep me from doing that crazy thing.  Nothing!  I’m going to kick that habit, work on that issue, tackle that problem in my own heart… But then when I throw my first leg over the side of the boat, it gets wet.  I realize it really is just water and it’s impossible to walk on water… In my human-ness, I pull back. My humanity says stay in the boat!  I recoil.  All my courage disappears.  I start thinking maybe I need to just stay where it is safe and comfortable.  Even in the storm, when I think the ship is going down, I still tend to believe that the chaos of the boat is safer than going out on the water toward Jesus.

And yet… I know that I cannot live my life with one leg in the water and the other in the boat.  Jesus never called me to safe and comfortable.  Jesus calls me to surrender, and that means ALL of me.  Both legs.

Slowly (sometimes it’s painfully slow!), I swing my second leg over the side of the boat, and I feel my weight shift as I stand up on the water.  And that bold courage I had?  It melts into sheer dependence.

I imagine Peter standing in awe and amazement as he watches the waves crash around his legs.  I imagine him slowly looking up and meeting the eyes of Christ with his own.  Oh the wonder he must have felt in that moment!  I also imagine him realizing his own weight.  His sin, his baggage, his story… When he thought about how heavy it all was, he started to sink.  And yet, Jesus said “Come.”  As long as Peter focused on Jesus, he stood.

As I stand in the water, it is no longer about me or my own strength.  I’m not strong enough to hold my own weight anymore.  The beautiful part of the story is that I don’t have to be!  Jesus took all of my weight on the cross, and I am feather-light when I choose to become completely and utterly dependent on Him.  Sinking comes when I focus on me, but as long as my eyes are on Christ, I stand.

This New Year, I want to live on the water.  In both calm seas and storms, I want to be brave enough to get the second leg out of the boat!  But more than that, I want to learn the kind of bravery that only comes from a place of sheer dependence on God.  I want to allow Christ to hold my weight, as I boldly focus on taking steps toward Him.  It is through “second leg faith” and raw dependence that I will become truly BRAVE.

 

 

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Still… (For When the Winds Blow – Part 2)

So that flag at the top of the flagpole, the one feeling tattered and torn?  Yep, she needs this today.  You too, maybe?

She tries to hang on and she tries to stop flailing.  She even tries to stop the blustery thoughts that whip her around and tear at the threads that hold her together.  She is so afraid that she will be rejected or abandoned that she tries desperately to hold on to anything that makes her feel secure.

Maybe in all her trying, she is forgetting the most important thing.  She doesn’t need to hold on.  She needs to be held.

(Casting Crowns has a great song about this very idea:  “Just Be Held”)

She is held.  The flagpole is secure.  And it’s not going anywhere.  It holds her.

If she remembers she is loved, she can rest.  She can stop flailing and simply rest in His Love.

She forgets sometimes, but she can be still.  She can be still because HE is still:  He is still on the throne.  He is still faithful.  He is still a good father.  He is still loving her… and will always be.

That’s security.

If He is Love, then Love is in his very essence… and Love is in His presence.  And this Love is strong and powerful and secure.

The wind is no match for His Presence.

He can quiet any storm.  And He can quiet her.  He quiets her with His Love (Zephaniah 3:17).

As she takes a deep breath, the winds subside, and she feels herself relax into the security of the Flagpole.

She is held.


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Icicles

It’s been several weeks ago now.  I was sitting in my car with some time to kill because I was early for an appointment. Just the day before, a pretty significant snow storm rolled through, but that storm was gone now and all that was left was cold air, sunshine, and a snow-blanket on the ground.  I don’t know what made me notice, but the sunlight was hitting the mirror on my car door in just the right way and drops of melting snow sparkled and shimmered. I watched as the snow melted into drops of water that swelled until they couldn’t hang onto the car anymore, and then they fell to the ground.  Drop after drop formed… the same way, with the same result.  Continue reading


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Happy New… Moment?

It’s in the air.  I can almost feel it on my skin.  This sense of “new-ness”… with a new year comes a new beginning, a blank slate, a fresh start.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds are exploding with reflections of 2013 and hopes for 2014.

It seems everyone is thinking about what the past year brought for them – both the blessings and the burdens.  And it seems like everyone is in hopeful anticipation about what the new year is going to bring.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  This is certainly a good time to reflect.  And it’s a good time to have hope for the future.

But… I also wrestle with it. Continue reading


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Clouds on the Ground

It was early, and it was dark and quiet.  I sipped on my coffee as the radio played soft music.  My drive to work has become one of my favorite times of day, because it is also a quiet space to spend some time with God.

As I drove, I looked out over the fields and I saw it.  Nearly every morning, the fog hovers over the fields, almost touching the grass and crops that grow.  In the distance beyond a row of trees, there is a river, and I could almost see the water glistening in the silver moonlight. Continue reading


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Redeemed

Ok, I’m not going to lie. I love a good deal. I love it when I find something I am looking for on sale, but if I have a coupon to go with that, even better! It just feels like an accomplishment when I get a bargain on something.

For me, there’s just something about knowing that I didn’t have to pay full price. Continue reading


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All work and no play?

Today as part of our school lessons, my son was to read a short story called “At Work“. The story is about a little boy who knows that work and play are different and that there is a place for both in his day. This prompted a conversation between me and my son about the difference between work and play, and how both grown-ups and children need to have a little of both every day. Continue reading