The God Who walks on the sea

He is always watching, always waiting, always ready to save.

That is something to ponder, and something to cherish.

I was almost in a car accident last week.

I was just cruising along I-65 on my way home and, as I was passing an exit, the cars in front of me apparently realized they were in the wrong lanes and suddenly changed lanes. There was no warning, and there was very little time to react. Quickly I slammed on my brakes and steered myself away from the cars, and seconds later the three of us were paused on the exit ramp. After taking two breaths to calm myself down, I gently pulled away, taking the exit and driving the rest of the way home.

Nothing happened. No one got hurt. It was a close call, an almost disaster. And I thanked God all the way home that it wasn’t one.

And this got me wondering, how many times has God saved me before? Typically, the disasters He’s had to save me from have been the result of my choices, from me single-mindedly barreling through a situation, ignoring all the signs and the little interior resistances that tell me that this isn’t the way. I can feel that it’s not right, and I know something is wrong even if I can’t put my finger on it, but I try to push forward anyway. And because of that, I would often find myself stranded, “tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against [me]” (Mark 6:48), in real and utter peril.

The Lord has been showing me this pattern and the different ways it has played out, all the times when the stubborn assertion of my own will had led me to a head-on collision. He has shown me that real and present danger that befalls me when I act out of insecurity instead of following the Spirit He gave me. And He has especially humbled me in this regard by revealing to me the way this pattern of action almost led me to marry the wrong person.

Those of you who have read this blog from the beginning know that I started it at a time when I was going through a really difficult break up. The early posts are full of raw, emotional, hard truths of my experiences during that time. Luckily the Lord has healed my heart tremendously and I am finally at peace about it. And in that newfound calm, He has been able to reveal to me the truth of what happened, where I had gone wrong and made bad choices, and how He had saved me. In this relationship, I had not been happy. I was in the beginning of course, when everything was new and exciting and I don’t know what was going to happen but couldn’t wait to find out. But over time I began to feel unsettled. I realized this person had very different dreams than I had. I perceived that he wasn’t willing to make sacrifices for me, and that he didn’t pay attention to what I wanted or give deference to what would make me happy. And if I’m really honest with myself, I didn’t trust his discernment of our relationship or his ability to lead me closer to Christ. A friend of mine recently explained it to me from her perspective, saying that “he was trying to make my world smaller while I was actively trying to make it bigger”. This was not a good situation for me, that this was not where the Lord called me to be. I deserved more. Yet, I convinced myself this was the right thing despite the persistent call of my heart, and I was on the verge of giving my dreams away to be with him.

If I had said yes to that, it would have been a complete disaster.

But, the Lord came to rescue me. Seeing my distress as I rowed against the sea, He walked out on the water to stand beside me. And on hearing my voice He swiftly got into the boat and calmed the storm (Mark 6:49-50). At the time calming the storm meant going through a breakup that felt like an even bigger storm than the first, but as the waves have calmed down I can see how the Lord has, once again, saved me from myself.

How humbling it is to know the care of our God! He knew what I was choosing. He knew I wasn’t going the right way. Yet, because He loved me, He kept me from falling. I am so thankful that He is my Savior, and I pray that my heart may never be hardened to the significance of that saving intervention (Mk 6:52). It took a really serious close call for me to realize how far I could have gotten by going my own way, and by the grace of God I am determined to never do that again.

Friends, pay attention to your hearts. Pay attention to the little movements. If something feels wrong, you need to talk to God about it. Don’t make the mistakes I made in ignoring those signs and not being honest about the state of your heart. And if you find yourself in the middle of that same storm, cry out to God to walk on the water beside you and command the seas to be still.

Remember, we have a God that is looking out for us in the moments when we don’t even know we need it, and Who is willing at all times to save us from disaster, in both the big and the small ways. He is always watching, always waiting, always ready to save. That is something to ponder, and something to cherish.