Earlier this month, our family was able to spend a week at the beach. We had an incredible time together and it’s safe to say that we have three future “beach bums” on our hands. There’s just something about being at the beach that allows you to think more clearly and breathe a little easier (thank you salt water). While all our boys love the water, nothing had prepared the twins for their first sight of the ocean. Maybe it was the size of the ocean or perhaps the waves that left them mesmerized. Whichever it was, believe me, it was a sight to behold!
It didn’t take long for Dawson to jump right in and start enjoying the ocean. Each wave was another chance for him and his boogie board to take a ride. The twins however were content playing in the shallows as there were only “baby waves” there as Colton said. After a few days of watching his big brother tame the big waves and going out into the deeper waters, you could tell that Colton was beginning to have the same desire but he just couldn’t get over his fears. In other words, while he really wanted to go out into the deeper waters, the shallows were much more comfortable and safer. You can almost see the struggle going on in his little mind!
The Lord spoke so loud to me through this simple picture. How many times have I desperately wanted God to use me and teach me but lacked the faith and confidence to get out of my comfort zone? So many times I have experienced Jesus calling me into the deeper waters where He could grow and stretch my faith but I was too comfortable, too safe in the shallows. If I have learned anything the last couple of years it is this: God cannot and He will not grow you in the shallow end of life. It is not until you jump into the deeper waters and into the unknown that your faith in Christ will explode. You see, God doesn’t want you just to experience him waist deep where your feet are still under you. He wants to take you into depths over your head so you can learn what it is to place your whole heart and life in His hands. Simply put, He wants you to come to the end of you so you can begin to live in Him.
Following Jesus is scary at times. Not because of who He is, but because of what He commands. He commands us to simply follow Him. That’s it. No directions, no map, no detailed instructions. To truly follow Jesus is to sign a blank job description and then hand it back to Him and have Him complete it. Maybe that sounds terrifying to you because you’ve always made the rules or had a plan. When you truly follow Jesus you no longer have a say in what you become or where you go. Relax already! He will never call you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.
Are you feeling “stuck” in your relationship with Christ? Maybe it time to take a look around you. It might just be that you’re in the shallows of life when you know God is calling you to deeper waters. If that’s you, please jump. I promise Jesus will not only catch you but He will begin to show you things you’ve only read about and you will come to realize that life is far too short to stay in the shallows. Comfort zones are far too overrated! I’ll leave you with an encouraging word from one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson:
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes.
Keep seeking God.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences.
Enjoy the journey.
Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.
Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.
Take a flying leap of faith.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back.
Push all of your chips to the middle of the table.
It’s time to ante up all of your faith.
It’s time to go all in.
It’s time to go all out.
Praying for you always,