Monday, September 20, 2010
Walking on Water...
I saw this heron walk on water recently. It brought back to me the wonder of Peter walking to Jesus in the storm across the water of a lake, just as this heron was doing. Peter should not have been able to walk on water, and he couldn't, once he remembered that he shouldn't be able to. I don't really think this heron should have been able to walk on the lake water either, but it didn't know that, so on it he walked!
Madeleine L'Engle has written a wonderful book called Walking on Water. In it, she talks of flying as a child. I believe many people have that memory, including me. Not flying as in up in the sky with the birds, but doing things like 'floating' down a staircase without touching the stairs, and getting a swing to go as high as it could go, so that the chains buckled back on themselves, then jumping off and just floating effortlessly to the ground. I do remember doing those things. And I also remember that I could no longer do them when my older sister informed me that they were impossible to do. As I write this, I wonder how many of you will think I am crazy to admit such things as fact? But I read a lot, and I believe I am not alone in these childhood experiences. In her journal, my mother-in-law wrote of one of her childhood friends, who could get a swing going high enough that he would then jump off of it onto a second story window ledge of a building nearby. Then they would get his swing going high enough, and he would 'jump' back onto it.
When we go to the lake, I swing on the swings there. I swing very high, and I sometimes have the impulse to let go, and jump off like I did as a child. But now I know that if I did that, I would fall to the ground like lead, and would likely break something I don't really want broken.
Why is it that I can no longer do what I once did? Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “….if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Aha! Therein lies the answer. I believed I could do something that I no longer believe I can do.
According to Madeleine L'Engle, if we have enough faith, if we truly could believe we could do it, we could walk on water, as Peter and Jesus did. As the heron does.
So how many things in our lives are we not doing, because we don't believe we can do them? And why do we limit ourselves so much by our own disbelief? I don't really think I need to fly again, though wouldn't it be a wonder! And I probably don't need to walk on water. But there are a number of things that I probably do need to do; things that God perhaps even wants and expects me to do, that I 'just can't do.' My belief of my limitations limits me.
"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!"