Avoiding Fear and Falling in Love

There’s this story in the Bible,
it’s kind of obscure and pretty strange,
as most stories in the Word tend to be.
It’s the one where the poor little Israelites have to cross a river,
but it isn’t parting.
It isn’t even slowing down.
It’s just rushing and bubbling,
and doing all the scary things that rivers do,

and then God commands them to step in.

Now, I consider myself a pretty ardent believer at times,
but I can safely say that I’ve never obeyed the Lord into suicide.
At least, not yet.
But amazingly, in spite of all their shortcomings,
those rascally little Israelites somehow come up with the faith
to do just that. They walk into the unknown.

And so, one foot after the other,
scared to death and panting hard,
they do.
And of course, that’s when the strangest thing happens.
When they finally do dip their trembling toes
into the swirling black,
the waters part.
The waters part!!!

Now I’ve heard this story many times before,
but I think it’s safe to say that lately, it has taken on a whole new meaning.
Maybe it’s just the vertigo that comes from putting a ring on a girl’s finger
but never before have I experienced waters parting like this.
Like this stepping out into the unknown.
like this walking by faith and not by sight.
This boldly going where I’ve never gone before.
This crazy little thing called love…

Ahh, my head’s swimming and my feet are walking.
But praise God, my feet keep walking.
Love is opening up in ways that I never knew possible,
feeling more in love and less afraid than I ever have before,
and all the while,
my heart is moving to the tune of Dostoevsky and Proverbs 16

O.k. Fyodor first.
In the Brothers Karamozov he writes,
“and avoid fear, although fear is the consequence of every lie.”
Hmm, the consequence of every lie.
Which means, if I’m afraid, I’m believing something that I shouldn’t.
If I’m scared, it’s because I’m looking at the water and not listening to the voice.
All the times that I faltered and beat my head against the wall,
would have gone much better had I only beat myself up with truth
and not the doubts that plagued me so.
Now, it’s only taken 27 years,
but I think I’m slowly learning to hear his whisper and not the wake.
The promise and not the paramour.
Again, praise God.

Secondly, Proverbs 16. Verse 9.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Every single one.
Even the ones that run away from the shore.
Even the ones like Peter, sinking down to the bottom.
Even the ones that walk across.
Even all the steps that brought me here.

And of course, I don’t know how I got here, or
even where I’m going exactly, but one thing I do know.
He’s speaking, the waters are receding, and I’m still running.
I am still running.
Only question is, are you?

-MikeD