Losing Sight of the Shore

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“Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. ”  Matthew 14:29
I watched a documentary yesterday titled, “Losing Sight of the Shore”.  It started with this quote:
“You can never cross the ocean without first losing sight of the shore.”  Christopher Columbus
It instantly captivated me.  The movie tells the tale of six women from the UK, whom together row across the Pacific Ocean.  They started in California and ended in Australia.  It was over 8,400 miles of rowing.  It took over 9 months to complete. They broke three world records in the process,  including being the first women to do it.  They were known as the “Coxless Crew”.  It is truly a fascinating journey, one worth the watch.
As I have pondered this since it reminded me of Philip Yancey’s book “If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get out of the Boat”.  It centers on the above passage from Matthew.  Peter had to get out of the boat before he could walk on water.  We have to lose sight of the shore to cross our oceans.  We have to have faith.
The tagline from the movie is “Everyone has a Pacific to cross.”  This got me thinking about what mine are.  I started thinking about some of the challenges in my life.  Steps of faith I needed to take which would eventually get me across the ocean.
Relationships are a constant challenge.  My relationship with God is challenging.  Trusting Him when I don’t understand why bad things happen is challenging.  Believing His will is best can be challenging.  Making Him a priority can be challenging.  Loving Him completely can be challenging.  It is a day by day journey in which I consciously choose to lose sight of the shore and follow Him into the deep water.  One row at a time.
Continuing to put God first helps me row into the deep waters of human relationships.  It helps me forgive people who have hurt me.  It helps me ask for forgiveness when I am the offender.  It helps me cross the ocean of broken relationships to restored relationships.  It helps me take steps of faith which may lead to rejection here on earth, knowing I will never be rejected by Him.  He helps me lose sight of the shore and cross the ocean.
There are so many oceans people have to cross.  Oceans of loss.  Oceans of turmoil.  There are oceans we’ve created ourselves and oceans created by others.  My ocean of weight loss was created by me.  When I lost my job it was created by someone else.  In both cases, God is the one who helped me get to the other side of it.  He is the one who helped me through the rough waters until I found the shore.
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:30-31
It’s fascinating, Peter was doing great walking on water until He took his eyes off Jesus.  The minute he saw the wind he began to sink.  He lost his faith momentarily.  The minute he cried out, Jesus was there.  As soon as he had the Son back in his eyes, he could walk again.
It’s important to remember, as we cross our oceans, what the source of strength is.  We have to keep the Son in our eyes as we row our boats if we want to cross the Pacific.  The beauty is, even if we do lose sight for a moment, Jesus is right there waiting.  He will take our hand, lift us back up and help us keep going.
You do have to lose sight of the shore to cross the ocean, but you can’t lose sight of Jesus.  Where are you on your journey?  Are you still on the shore?  Are you in the middle of the ocean?  Have you taken your eyes off Jesus?
Where ever you are, take heart, He is there.  He is there to help you take the first step, the 99th step or the step to get you going again.  All you have to do is ask.  Before you know it, you too will have crossed an ocean!

2 thoughts on “Losing Sight of the Shore”

  1. Love this! I’m in the middle of the ocean. My favorite takeaway is that we have to lose sight of the shore. Because faith is the evidence of things unseen. And yet, you can’t lose sight of Jesus. He’s the compass. Great perspective Beth!

  2. ohhh how I love this!!! I’m horrible in a valley. Whenever it happens I freak out like I’ve never been in a valley before. Like God ain’t been there EVERY SINGLE TIME. I totally panic and the history of God’s blessing and rescue, gace and love float somewhere in the fog just out of my reach. AND dang then I’m on a mountain, kinda giggling at how silly I was, boy where was my faith??? It’s not even blind faith, but learned ( certainly not remembered) faith based on history. Eyes on HIM, my 2018 montra!

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