Where Feet May Fail

To me, Lent is somewhat about facing our fear of the unknown, facing that which keeps us from trusting God with everything we are. As we carry our crosses alongside Jesus, we must trust with all of our hearts that Jesus will carry us to the end. He will be our Simon, uniting our crosses with his, picking us up when we fall. I have always been irrationally afraid of spiders and of heights, but my focus this Lent is on a fear that I have only realized recently.  

Water is frequently mentioned as a means of salvation, Baptism being the prime example. One of my favorite Christian songs is Oceans by Hillsong United. It talks about how God’s grace abounds in the deepest waters, where much is unknown and our feet may fail us. I love the sense of comfort that it gives me, but if I actually imagine myself in such a position, I realize that I would be frozen with fear. What I recognized a few years ago about my fear of heights is that I am not so much afraid of being up high as I am of falling. I love being on the water in a boat, on a water slide, or even in a wave pool; but when I find myself unaided in the deeper waters of a lake, I am uncomfortable.

Some of my worry comes from wonder at what lies in the water that I cannot see, like snakes. The other thing that scares me is how much control the water has over me. I have a natural predisposition to sink; waves crashing over my head without my permission terrifies me.

What I mean to say in all of this is that my biggest fears are all about the control I have over my life. If I could freefall and catch myself, I wouldn’t be afraid. If I could know what the waves or “terrifying” water creatures were planning on doing and respond accordingly, the water wouldn’t worry me. I make myself anxious about the future all of the time, and yet I want to leave it all in God’s hands. My deepest fears are just a vicious cycle of me wishing to relinquish control, and ending up unable to.

Christians often mention water; we reference it as something that cleanses us, challenges us, and if we let it, rewards us. St. Peter walked on the water with Christ, an ultimate test of faith and trust. The water teaches us that our life is not in our hands, but it can be in God’s if we allow him to take it. In fact, He is begging us to let him do so, not the other way around.

The ocean holds the most undiscovered worlds this earth has to offer. Humans cannot fathom what lies in the deep recesses of the sea, nor do we have the technology to fully discover it. In this way is the ocean like our relationship with God. We can understand who God is, but our human minds are unable to fully comprehend the wonders of His glory. It is only when we fully put our trust in God, trust the waves, that we will receive abounding graces.


One thought on “Where Feet May Fail

  1. John & Elaine Shimmens says:

    Maura –   This is a fantastic article.    We really enjoyed it – you have so much insight!  Hope to see you soon.  Love you, Grandma & Grandpa

    Liked by 1 person

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