On the Water’s edge…..
I stand on the shoreline with my son, who wiggles about more violently than the worm I just skewered with a fishing hook. As I attempt to remove slimy worm deposits from my fingers, my boy impatiently scans the lake before him, looking for signs of the hungry fish he has come to catch. I smile at the energetic five-year old, dancing about beside me. He looks like he is about to pop out of his skin from excitement. I hand him the freshly loaded pole, but before I can launch into a “fish hook safety” lecture, a worm whizzes past my cheek plopping into the murky water that laps at out bare feet. Ripples race across the surface of the water like sonar, alerting the
unsuspecting fish to our presence. Before the last expanding circles have had time to disappear, my son eagerly begins to reel in his line.
“Hold on there Owen.” I admonish. You have to leave it out there a while and wait for the fish to bite. He looks at me with a mixture of frustration and disbelief. He does not understand why nothing has happened. For five grueling seconds he has waited for his offering to disappear, and in his opinion, countless fish should be floundering at our feet.
I Peter 5: 6-7 ESV
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
So that at the proper time he may exalt you.
Casting ALL your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.
The Happy Exchange, that Glad Surrender….
I am not unlike my impatient son. I also stand at the water’s edge, my hands filled with the “things” I desperately need to cast from weary shoulders and aching heart. I have come with burdens and the need for direction and assurance. Years of pain and sorrow have made me impatient to rid my flesh of the “old way of life.” My spirit is eager to make a very lopsided exchange with the Father who cares deeply for me. My son understands a fish is so much better than the slimy worm dangling helplessly from his pole. I recognize that what He asks for and what He offers in exchange is so much better than the “things” that collect both spiritually and physically in my cluttered heart and life. As I stand at the water’s edge, hands grimy with the things of this earth, my soul cries out “Father I believe, help my unbelief!”
I am humbled by the fact He is willing to take what little I have to offer. My hands extend upward, offering up the grimy and broken parts of my life, clinging to the promise I can exchange what little I posses to obtain what He promises in abundance to pour out. Refreshing currents of hope lap at my tired feet as I recall similar visits to this shore. I recount vivid moments in time when the healing waters of his grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness washed away the black ashes of pain, weariness, and sorrow. Beauty has always emerged from beneath the ashes. My mourning always transformed to dancing. Exuberant songs of praise lifted high, the fruit of prayers offered up as sacrifices from a needy heart.
I stand on the shoreline with my Father, impatient for those needed moments of spiritual exchange. He looks deep within my heart, gently admonishing me to let go of the “things” that smother life and drain energy from my breast. Some burdens are relinquished with the childlike eagerness of my impatient son. Others are harder to cast away, for I am ever reluctant to relinquish control. Then there are the “things” I have no clue how to sever from my life. Sorrows and burdens that cling to my heart with a relentless persistence. The weakness of humanity can be so very frustrating! How easily I forget that I don’t have to be strong. How often I chaff over my inability to conquer on my own!
The ripples of his grace relentlessly tug at the sand beneath my weary feet. The foundations I once clung to yield to the persistent currents of His faithfulness and steadfast love. Without effort, I find myself drawn one step closer to He who is Peace. The sweet relief of His unfathomable mercy pours down over my parched heart as The Comforter gently whispers, “Remember my daughter, weakness is not a curse, but a window that invites humility as its sacred guest.” I smile as I Peter 5:6-7 echoes in my mind….. Humility ushers us into that grand arena of opportunity, where room is made for the mighty Hand of God, and where the needy is exalted.
Today, I will unfold my chair and settle comfortably at the water’s edge. I am not sure how long my prayers will dance across the surface. His gift, that sweet exchange between earth and heaven might take place before the ripples have time to fade. Then again the echoes of my longing heart might disappear beneath the surface of His faithfulness, long before I receive His answers. I am here for the long haul. I have no idea if I will receive deliverance from my weaknesses, answers to my questions, or direction in my wanderings. Perhaps today my catch will not be answers, but rather grace sufficient to endure. The moon might rise before I reel in my line, heavy with His Divine exchange. The stars might keep diligent watch with me throughout the night, but one thing I know, I will not walk away from His presence disappointed. I will cast my line into the vast ocean of His abundant grace and mercy and I will wait for that happy exchange, that glad surrender! Worms for fish…grace for the redeemed.
Psalm 39:7 KJV
And now, Lord, What wait I for?
My hope is in thee.