Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Icy Surprise

There I was, standing in my snowshoes, trying to figure out if I could make the jump over the creek in the marsh. I was about to go and then I hesitated. What if I fall? I don’t want to get muddy. Then I caught myself, scolded myself. Where is your sense of adventure, of wonder, of exploration? What surprise might God have in store for you?

I made the jump. It was much easier than I thought. Where was that fear coming from anyways?

I walked around on the marsh behind my parents home and thanked God for His beauty. The snow and ice had hardened to the point where I was able to go deeper into the marsh than before.

I came to a bend in the river where I could see it widening and heading out to the ocean. Over the years the ocean has carved out a channel with lots of deep bends as the ocean probed farther into the marsh.

What a beautiful sight! There was thick ice covering the channel. It was low tide and the ice was sunk down, lying against the bottom of the channel. It had hardened and was cracked.

And then I heard a crack. The tide was coming in. I got quiet. I heard cracks all around me where the water was pushing up against the ice. It sounded like ice cubes hitting the side of a glass followed by a slight gush of water.

Then I stopped, knelt down and listened closely.

I thought of the places that were hardened and cracked in my life—those places that I had sealed over and shut up. Those wounds that I wanted to cover. God wanted His grace to push against the ice so that He could bring life and change.

Then I remembered that this was the place in the marsh where we normally swam. This is the place where we played in God’s beautiful creation as we dove into the cool refreshing marsh during the hot summer.

I listened more.

I noticed how I used those wonderful experiences to form my expectations of how God works. I noticed how I built my own theological framework of the spiritual life. I wondered if these, too, were thick ice lying against the channel in the deep of winter.

Does God want to do something new? Does God want to re-form my expectations of what He desires to do in my life? Is a new tide coming in?

What are you inviting me to do, God? What am I holding back from You? What areas of my life are you probing so You can go further in?

After some time, I came back to that creek. It was an easy jump now. I turned back to see where I had gone and said, “Start a new adventure, God. Break my life open. Push against the ice. Would you bring in new life?”

1 comment:

  1. As we age and grow, and as God enables us, sometimes we can revisit familiar places, people, situations and find that we're called to a new response. I like the analogy of the tide suddenly coming in because that speaks of God bringing about changes in our world -- some of which are unpredictable. Sure, that sound of cracking ice around us can be threatening and unnerving, but if we step out in faith it need not deter us. "Behold I make all things new."