the one where i experienced Christ on a riverboat

i’m pretty sure my primary love language is touch. That’s one reason i love sports- high fives and such… It can be difficult when the people around me don’t like physical touch… it can be really difficult with God – i mean how do i experience God’s touch?

Then i realized i experience God’s touch thru people. And here is a story…

Well, i’ll start with the day at Ko Samui we went to LaMai beach and the waves were crashing. i saw this big rock, and i thought it would be cool to go sit on there and read. So Felicia and i went up. And i turned to Psalm 40 and read how the Lord makes sets us on a rock and makes our footsteps firm… at that moment a big wave came up, and took Felicia down

Wow. Really lord? i was hoping to be on that rock would give me a picture of Your protection…

But it did make my Bible all crinkly… so a week or so later i opened my Bible and it turned to Isaiah 43
And the verses hit me.
The Lord formed me. He made me the way i am. All my faults and things i can’t do… He made me like this. And He knows me, and still loves me…and He will take care of me and protect me

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God

Since i can’t swim and water terrifies me and a few days before Andrew attempted to give me some swimming lessons, it was quite meaningful to me.
(And as i write it now, it gives me some hope and peace again)
No matter what i’m going thru or about to enter, the Lord will be with me. He will take care of me, and He will not let anything overcome me. i can have security and confidence and hope and peace – no matter what. i can take steps of faith and trust Him. i can face fears, and be ok.

As it turned out, the next day we went to a floating village. We got on and i joked about  putting on the life jacket… but as we started going, i started to freak out. No, i probably wouldn’t drown or anything, but still, i don’t like the idea of falling into water. And the boat kept swaying back and forth.

Really, the experience sucked for me. i couldn’t enjoy it at all because i kept freaking out. i didn’t want to, but i was. And mostly, i just felt alone. People were telling me not to be afraid, but that wasn’t really helping.

Jackie and Alecia asked me how i was feeling- which helped a little. Still, i felt alone amongst everyone. It was really just humiliating. 3 year old jump in the water. And everyone can swim… but not me. No one else is affected, but i’m freaking out. Yes, i’m a wimp.
And i’m glad everyone else is enjoying this, but i feel all by myself. i thought about Isaiah 43, but still, i felt horrible.

Then Ben Mauch came down and said “I didn’t know you couldn’t swim” and asked me how i was feeling. He said i should come out up on top with him.
I said “I’d love to, but i can’t. it’ll freak me out.”
Somehow, Ben didn’t make me feel like an idiot for not knowing how to swim or for being afraid. And he said
“I’ll be right next to you the entire time.”
“And when i start freaking out…”
“I won’t yell at you.”

So, i went out and up. He built my trust.
And we went up, and he sat next to me.
And when we swayed, he put his arm around me or on y shoulder. And when we swayed his direction, he would scream he’s falling off and say he was going to pull me in- but he grabbed me, and i felt his touch.

i know, maybe this sounds girly or gay. i wish i wasn’t such a wimp. But i am. i’m weak. And i need people. i’m not as strong as some. i don’t have it all together like most. i need people to come along side of me and help me.
i wish i could get by by myself… but as scrubs has taught me, i can’t do this by myself…

beyond this Ben M was a picture of Christ to me. He brought Isaiah 43 alive to me. as well as Joshua 1.

See, i think Joshua was afraid when he led the people of Israel, but he acted because he trusted the Lord.
This is faith- going into the unknown and fearful- but trusting anyway.

More, it wasn’t just words, it was presence. Ben could have told me not to be afraid. but that wouldn’t help. It was his presence that gave me comfort. It was presence that gave me confidence.

In that moment i felt not only his presence, but the presence of the Lord. And i realized, this is what i need. i need the Lord’s presence with me. And with the Lord by my side i can face any fear, any difficulty. For He will be with me. He will not leave me. And He will protect me and not let the floods overwhelm me.

Some things in life have tried to overwhelm me recently. But y’know, i can look back to this- to God’s Word, and this picture and have confidence.

And so, i may be weak, i may be needy. i do long to be someone’s hero. And i do hope i will show Christ to people by how i treat them.
but i am also weak and needy – but Christ is with me


2 thoughts on “the one where i experienced Christ on a riverboat

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