Let’s walk upon the water

Self-Reliant Group facilitator, Laura Walton, considers the seaside this bank holiday weekend.

Such is the advancement of science and technology that we can control and direct so much of our everyday lives in a way that our parents were never able to do.
 
But although forecasts can be made of the weather for tomorrow, next week even beyond, we still cannot control it. We can affect it without a doubt, through misuse and abuse of the earth’s resources but as yet there is no red button to press for a sunny option for the bank holiday weekend. So we tentatively make plans for a walk, a seaside trip or a lakeside picnic and then wait, poised for action or disappointment.
 
But if we were thinking of taking kids with us or teens, there would only be excitement and anticipation without the concern of the weather. With first day back looming next week, a day at the seaside would be a guaranteed joy….always! Shorts, a raincoat and a mask…that’s all that’s needed.
 
While you huddle with the extra jumpers, fleeces, brollies, tinfoil wrapped sandwiches and tea flask, that wide expanse of nothingness except sand will entertain and entrance, even in the rain. The huge skies and a horizon as wide as the world can capture their imagination and fill them with awe, hope and a realisation of their place in the world and the mark they can make on it.
 
The seascape with gentle lapping or surging and crashing waves tells of its power and might in the immensity of noise and vastness. It sets free the hair in bobbles and sets free something that children do so unselfconsciously, that squeal and scream of joy.
 
They then return dishevelled, full, bright eyed and wet, eager for the promise of chips, 2p slots and candy floss on the way home.
 
Even in the rain. Especially in the wind and rain. A day at the seaside will always be exhilarating and awe inspiring.
 
So many Christian songs use imagery of the sea to describe God’s amazing love. The waves crashing over us are his love covering us and protecting us, his power is always for us, never against us. At those points where land and sea meet and the horizon is wider than anything we’ve ever seen in our lives, we cannot fail to be moved by its beauty, its power and majesty. It can be overwhelming, overpowering and makes us so aware of how small we really are, how weak and insignificant.
 
Yet in a boat on the Galilean Sea, Jesus stood in a boat amidst a churning and crashing sea, surrounded by his friends cowering in fear and ordered the waters to be still, and they were. His authority as the Son of God protected his friends and as a result they put their lives in his hands.
 
Whether we got to go to the beach or not this bank holiday, we have all faced something huge and overwhelming in our lives which has caused us to feel powerless and incapable and left us cowering, heads down. Jesus had the authority from his Father to order the storm and waves to be still. Jesus offers us his hand to face with us our fears and our situations which seem to overwhelm us. He invites us to put our trust in him and walk upon the waters. Let’s do just that.
Find out more about Self-Reliant Groups: http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/srg

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