Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fear or Joy

When I was young, our family would often take trips from Oregon to Michigan to be with our extended family.  This, of course, was a blast.  We were able to participate in so many things that we normally didn't or wouldn't back in Oregon.

One of those "things" I remember vividly.  It was a trip to a lake with my aunt and uncle and their kids.  The adults decided to make a day out of it, so we brought along a lunch and a bunch of snacks.  Swimsuits, water toys and my uncle's boat.  This was going to be a great day!

After a while of being there, we all decided that it would be fun to go around the lake taking turns on the toboggan.  So we all got in the boat and one by one, everyone started taking their turns. 

Then... it was my turn...

As a nine or ten year old who hadn't experienced much of inland lakes, I was a bit timid terrified.  I couldn't see through the water.  I couldn't see the bottom.  Would the fish in the lake touch me...  I was getting freaked.  I was not going to be riding the toboggan. 

I WAS SCARED TO DEATH.

My uncle, on the other hand known better.  He picked me up and threw me in the water.  I went kicking and screaming.  He then jumped in after me, grabbed me and forced me to get on the toboggan with him.  I was yelling over and over again that I didn't want to go.

He kept telling me that I was going to be fine.  That there was nothing to be afraid of.

The boat started out.
The rope got tight.
We raised up out of the water.
We took off.

Once we were around the small lake once, I asked him if we could go around the lake a second time.

My fear turned to joy.

Sometimes, that's a little what it's like in following Christ. 
Often times, we have no idea where He is taking us. 
What He are doing. 
How far we will go. 
Why we are here...
and we look down at our feet and start to fear.

There is where I am.  Between the fear and the joy.  Perhaps this is where I will be until glory.  To be honest, I have to say that in every time that I have gone into the unknown with Christ, I have never been disappointed.

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
(Matthew 14:28-33 ESV)
  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
(3 John 1:4 ESV)