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Years ago, the waves crashed onto the beach at Destin, splashing my feet and legs as I perched in my low chair at the edge of the water. I’d placed the chair where I could enjoy the ocean, but still be on land. A bout with bronchitis had left me weak, but this mini-vacation would be restful and restorative for my health.

Friends waved to me from the chest-deep place where they swam. My husband trudged to shore, fighting the breaking waves. “They want us to join them.” He coaxed. “Come on.”

I shook my head. “I’m fine. I don’t want to fight the waves.”

“It’s not that bad. Really.”

I didn’t believe him. I was tired of fighting the waves of life: sickness, stress, and work. Being knocked around in the ocean didn’t sound inviting at all.

“Okay.” He turned back to the water; disappointment evident as he pushed out into the water again.

I sat for several minutes before guilt took over. “I should go in, I guess. They all want me out there.”

Folding my chair, I placed it under our umbrella before struggling into the breaking waves which threatened to upend me. I grumbled and made my way to where they swam. Right before reaching them, the wave action changed. The water smoothed to gentle furrows, rolling high at times, but manageable. The water released coolness and its clearness almost revealed the sandy bottom. “This is nice.” I swam toward my husband.

“I told you.” He floated with a flowing wave.

Real life collided with my spiritual life. God often called me to join Him in the deep, but I resisted, seeing only the waves breaking heavily against the shore. He knew if I’d push past the initial whitecaps, calmness and joy awaited me. I needed to trust Him.

I enjoyed a refreshing swim before battling back through the breakers to shore. Then I breathed a prayer. “I’m sorry, God. Help me to trust You more.”

My view of the ocean and God had changed from one venture into the deep.

When He had stopped speaking, He [Jesus] said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’” Luke 5:4 NKJV

The call to missions has been issued at The Bridge. Opportunities abound to make a real difference in our community, northwest Alabama, the nation, and the world. The initial step is always difficult but joy and peace await us. It’s time to listen to God’s voice and brave the deep. Are you ready?