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09 May 2011

The Wind, The Waves, Jesus

7 May, 2011

Just over a month in South Africa and the Lord proves Himself over and over.  Truly, He who calls you is faithful, He will bring it to pass.  Many things have happened in the past month, most of them in the area of personally settling into a foreign country.

The biggest difficulty has been communication. To say I was a bit surprised is a huge understatement. With everyone speaking the same basic language, one would tend to think communication would be an easy thing.  I must say, the cultural difference in how people deal with one another has been my first, and probably most important lesson.  Without making that one change, everything else would be hindered. The good news is, I'm getting there, and there is no time to be slow about it!  It is interesting to be among people that you don't have to be so gentle with their feelings and emotions. I can hear some of my friends laughing thinking I must fit in well.  You have no idea.  J 

There have been a multitude of emotions for which I was mostly unprepared.  While I was fully aware that I was arriving with no personal relationships in place, I was not really prepared for what that meant to me, personally.  Although new relationships are forming and ministry is taking a form that looks somewhat familiar, with a bit of a twist, I was very blessed by the stack of cards and letters from my friends in America that were kept sealed until I needed to hear from a friend.  I only opened them one at a time, on the days that I really needed a boost, and as the Lord would have it, each one was just what I needed at the moment.  The first was a hug and a scripture passage that literally carried me through some very difficult moments.  I continue to visit that particular passage almost daily.

Recently in prayer, thinking about a difficult situation I had encountered, I was frustrated and tearful.  As I began to recount to the Lord the call that brought me here, I started to laugh.  I got a really serious case of Holy Ghost Giggles as, in my minds eye, I could see Peter, having heard the Lord bid him to “come”, jumped out of the boat, having no idea what would happen next.  He only knew that Jesus was out there, and the most important thing was that he encounter the Lord of glory.  I believe Jesus would have come into the boat if they had bid Him to do so.  I believe they would have all gotten to the other side safely, even if Peter had not walked on the water. Peter may have faltered at the wind and the waves, but no one else walked on the water. And the result was that all the people in the boat received revelation, saying to Jesus, “Truly You are the Son of God”

As I sat laughing, I thought, 'well, the wind is an irritation, but these waves, I can use them like stepping stones.  By standing on them, they will lift me to a new height.  New height gives new perspective.  If I let the waves lift me, rather than overcome me, I will see things I have never seen before.'  I know this is true, because I am short (4'10”) and when I stand on a little step stool, the view in my own house is very different.  If eight inches can change what I am able to see in my kitchen, what can an eight foot wave allow me to see in the spirit?

As the initial storm passes and the seas become calm again, I am reminded of Rebekah and Esther.  Like Peter, each of them stepped out of what was familiar into the unknown.  Regardless of fear and anxiety, they simply acted on what knew to be the will of God.

Rebekah, a young girl, leaving her father's house of safety and security entered a new land, lived among new people, the wife of a man she had never met.  And she was the vessel the Lord used to bring forth the nation of Israel.  Esther literally risked her life when she stepped out of her comfort zone and a whole nation of people were saved from certain death.  Promotion followed. 

The Lord never rebuked Peter for his desire to be in the middle of what He was doing.  It was Peter that walked on the water.  It was Peter that was always asking questions that led to revelation.  Peter retrieved money from the fish's mouth.  Peter was one of the three that were closest to Jesus, at the transfiguration, at the raising of the dead, in preparing the passover and at Gethsemane.  And it was Peter that preached the message on the day of Pentecost that brought 3000 to repentance.  No, the Lord never rebuked Peter for his zeal.  In fact, I think He liked it. Otherwise Jesus would not have held him so close.

Get comfortable in the secret place of the Most High.  Under His wings you will find refuge.  On His wings you will learn to soar above the storms and see more than you ever imagined.