So we are starting this series at youth group called "Serial Killers 2." It is the second installment of the series that was the most successful series as far as turn out and excitement (I know that speaks volumes about this culture). It is a series based on the reality of sin and humanity of the sinner. One of the things I hate the most about this series is the research that has to be done. I pour over so much material about these particular killers that it severely depresses me. The thought that one of these predators could be lurking near my family makes me sick and it is a trying series for me to do. So last night I was praying at about 3:30 AM, such has been the case for the last week or so I haven't been able to sleep and feel very lonely. So I am praying to God and telling Him I am drowning, much like Peter did when he walked on water to Jesus. I am fully expecting He will pull me up too, however as I am praying it occurs to me that the fight to stay above water is the good stuff.
When I am happy and things are going well, I am not thinking as much about how much I need God to keep me afloat. I get confident and proud, then I sink. It never fails, I sink every time. I think Peter would have sunk every time too, at least until He saw Jesus risen, He seemed as the rest of the disciples to be really changed after that. I suppose I would be too. I think God values the fight, because it makes us recognize our reliance on God to sustain us, to save us from the waters, from the flames. I think there is mercy in tears shed for God. I think the questioning of my faith and testing has brought good things, if only because it forces me to meet my demons head on. I could suppress them, I could go on not trying to be transparent and unexposed. I could play my role and shoot par. I could float by and never be so tormented. But I choose to fight. I choose to step into the water even though I know I will sink sooner rather than later, but with the joy and comfort in knowing Jesus will pull me up again stronger and closer to Him. I pray for the testing of my faith. I pray for more brokenness. I pray for all of the pain that will bring me closer to Him.
I don't regret the drowning and I don't think for a moment Peter would either because Peter learned something about Christ that night. He is trustworthy. And faithful even when we take our eyes off of Him and begin to sink.
In the Bible water has often been used to signify new birth. We have Jonah emerging from the depths of the sea to do as God had intended him to, even through fear. We see a confession of a new birth in baptism, when we publicly go under to the grave and emerge a new person at least symbolically. Water rained for 40 days and cleansed the earth of the violence and hatred, and a new world emerged, not that we are not still full of violence and hatred. To emerge anything good, we have to go under. You need to be swallowed by the fish to be spit onto the places God wants you to be. You have to go to the grave to emerge a new creation. You have to drown to learn how to function in deep water and trust in God.
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