Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bailing Water

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.
Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

You find yourself in a boat in the middle of a lake. The only thing with you is a metal pail. The small hole in the bottom of your boat continues to let water rush in. Not at a pace that will cause your boat to sink...at least not yet.

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

Your pail moves in and out of the boat. "I've got to keep going. No time to stop now. If I can only get through this pail of water," you exclaim. Time passes. You're still bailing water.

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.
Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

Sometime life feels like you're in a boat bailing water. Your boat might be your job, or your family, or your house, or a relationship, or even a combination of things. But you keep bailing water. You bail water to keep your boat afloat. There's no time to look outside the boat because that might distract you from the task at hand.

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

You've got some choices. You can keep bailing water, hoping the leak in your boat will miraculously stop. Or you might possibly decide to give up and let the water consume you; sinking down into the depths of the lake. Or perhaps there is another option.

Peter and several disciples find themselves in a boat and Jesus tells Peter to do something that is against human conditioning. Matthew 14:28-31, "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

Life can sometimes feel like you're in a boat. There is another way. Jesus tells us that we must get out of the boat and follow Him. But we're too consumed with fear. We have to keep bailing water.

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

"You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" The human response is to doubt isn't it? You can only focus on the "tasks" at hand. If you look up you'll be distracted. But Jesus clearly tells us that we must step out of the boat. The only way to shore is by trusting Him and walking on the water.

Dip. Slosh. Fill. Lift. Empty.

But you keep going. Your boat keeps floating. You keep bailing. Life keeps on passing you by. Before long, you're too old to bail the water any longer and your boat begins to sink. But there's another choice. You can still step out of the boat.

Dip. Slosh...

Silence. For the first time, longer than you can remember, the peaceful sound of silence enters your ears. You can smell it. You sense it. You feel it. Faith. John 14:1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." Sometimes you have to abandon what you know and trust in what you do not know. As God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

What boat is keeping you captive today? Will you continue to focus on the "tasks" at hand, or look to a new life that God has promised, a future to hope for? If you step out of your boat, Jesus will stretch out his hand. It's time to walk on water. Faith is here. Faith is now. Faith is forever.

Thanks to my buddy Mac for the inspiration for this post.

1 comment:

Da Pipstah said...

Great post... and fitting for a site about buckets. :-)