Tall and gray, the fluid hills marched rhythmically toward the beach. Some of the largest waves I had ever seen roared into the sand on that cloudy day. Surfboard in hand, I couldn’t tell if I was excited or terrified.
I love the California coast, so just a few weeks ago my wife Emma and I decided to rent a beachfront condo. Being an AZ native, I obviously don’t get a chance to surf very often, so when the opportunity comes I take it. We loaded up the car, put my trusty longboard on the roof rack, and set out west.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying – I’m not really a surfer. I love it, but I’ve only done it a handful of times so I’m not too great at it. Calling an Arizonan a surfer is like calling a Kansan a mountaineer. It might be possible, but the image is more humorous than it is likely to be true.
So with only a limited time at the beach, I couldn’t really wait for the “perfect” day to try and ride some waves. I couldn’t be selective; otherwise I wouldn’t get a chance to go out there period. And in this case, that meant going out into the water when I wasn’t very comfortable going into the water. In fact, I wasn’t just uncomfortable, I was downright scared.
There are certainly parallels to this in life. Times when we know what we need to do, times when we feel God leading us on a certain path that we know will be difficult. Sometimes this means showing love to someone who has only shown us animosity. Sometimes this means going out of our way to be the hands and feet of Christ. Sometimes this means uprooting your whole life and moving to a place you have never been before. Sometimes this means talking to that stranger who desperately needs to hear about Jesus.
No matter where we are on our walk with Jesus, there will always be opportunities to be uncomfortable. But that’s how we grow. Nobody has ever done anything for the kingdom by lying on the beach. Yeah, it’s scary, but it’s necessary to get in the water! Take comfort in the words of Jesus when He says:
“…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b
So how about you? Are you on the beach, or are you in the waves?