Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Deep End (03/06/14)
TITLE: Where Miracles Happen
By Lillian Rhoades
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I am by the ocean banks as morning tips its hat and says, “Hello.” It stands with me while I smell the fresh scent of a new day and watch the mist that seems reluctant to turn over the mountaintops to an impatient sun. Silence is not a sound, but somehow I hear it in the quiet that engulfs me. The ocean has awakened, but it respects the hush as its muted ripples cascade over the rocks beneath it.
I remain captured by the stillness, until I hear the sound of music that floats up from that place where memories reside.
“Launch out into the deep and let the shorelines go”… The words shake a mocking finger at my state of mind. Right now, I prefer shallow water and the reassuring comfort of wet sand beneath my feet. I’ve always been afraid to step beyond the no-risk zone.
This time my thoughts float like the driftwood that bobs and weaves pass me, having had its own adventure with the deep.
There must be someone much younger than I am who could be in charge... I’m not a leader. You gave me the gift of helps…What if…
And I tell God everything He already knows about me, and all the reasons why I’m not the one for the job. When I’ve exhausted my excuses, and as the waves start to tackle my ankles, I step back towards solid ground; but not before I hear His voice.
“Come, walk on the water with Me.”
This was my “Peter moment,” and by the water’s edge, my reluctance ebbs and flows with the onset of high tide.
“Don’t be afraid. Come, walk on the water with Me.”
But I lack organizational skills…I may not get enough volunteers… How can I know this is your will for me? …Suppose…
I can’t let go. I can’t step away from the uncertainties that are as threatening to me as the waves that begin to dominate the horizon.
Without warning, the high-pitched sound of a child’s voice puts my inner struggles on hold.
“Hey, Daddy, I bet you can’t catch me.”
A pair of short, stubby legs that could barely outrun a tortoise, does his version of a race close to where I’ve retreated, and heads for the open waters.
Where IS Daddy? It looks as if this little guy isn’t going to stop.
Just before two little feet go for the foamy end of a wave, I feel the sharp spray of sand as two lanky legs sprint pass me, scoops up the happy, arm flinging racer and carries him on his shoulder out into the surging waters.
Whew! He just made it in time.
I interrupt their trek on the way back to their beach spot.
“You really gave me a scare, little guy.”
He glares at me with furrowed brow.
What IS this lady talking about?
But his father understands. He caresses his son’s damp curls and grins at me.
“Don’t worry, Ma’am, I have it all under control. We play this game all the time when we come to the beach. He knows I would let nothin’ happen to this little guy.”
Isn’t that what Jesus wanted Peter to believe?!
“…It is I; do not be afraid…Come…O you of little faith…”
His revelation replaces my trepidation, and I see beyond the shallow waters of my faithlessness. Beyond the safety of the shoreline, in the turbulent and risky deep, that’s where miracles happen, and where we learn what faith can do.
Nothing much has changed since that day by the ocean. I’m still the same stay behind the scenes, “not I, Lord, somebody else can do it better” person. But miracles happened in spite of me.
That summer, Jesus and I held the largest, most fun-packed Vacation Bible School in the history of our church. And like the net that almost broke with the over abundance of fish when Peter “launched out in the deep,” we almost had more children than we could handle.
And the kids weren’t the only ones having a blast during those two weeks of miracles. I had a great time walking with Jesus where I would never have gone on my own, and knowing He would not let me sink.
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