Have you ever thought that maybe God was calling you to more?
I recently went on a trip with my family to Blue Mountain Beach, Florida. This is a small community nestled between Panama City Beach and Destin. The days were absolutely beautiful. Our family had a house overlooking a lake and we had a quick golf cart ride to the beach. The best of both worlds for me!
My first day on the beach I decided to take a walk solo. This tends to be when I can refill my cup and when I hear God the loudest. As I walked about a quarter of a mile, I saw it. To my right was the crystal clear ocean–vast, beautiful, alive. And to my surprise…empty. To my left was this inlet of water. It looked to be an area where water runs down from the mountain-side homes and streets, down the sand dunes, and to the beach. It was brown, dead, stagnant. And full of ducks, seagulls, and some people.
Why? Why on earth would you choose those conditions when just a trip over a small strip of sand bar would provide you the ocean?
And God spoke…
1. Because it’s safe.
2. Because it’s comfortable.
3. Because you know what to expect.
4. Because it’s all you’ve ever known.
5. Because you’ve tried that ocean experience before and wiped out.
Then I was no longer standing on the sandy shores with these two bodies of water on my sides. I was looking at a picture of life. Which do I choose? The inlet or the ocean? There have definitely been times in my life that I have chosen to risk it and wade out into unchartered waters, but more often than not, I am lulled once again back to the inlet.
God immediately tugged on my heart and had me to consider just how many people are living their lives this way. How many people are settling for what they have in front of them, what they know, what seems secure, because they are unwilling to take a step for what might be? How many times in my own life had I become comfortable in my surroundings and missed out on the much greater things that God had in store?
It reminded me of the Master and servant story in Matthew 25. The Master had told his servants that He was leaving on a tripand He entrusted them with certain amounts of silver. The servant who received five bags invested it and earned five more. The servant with two bags earned two more. Matthew 25:18 states, “But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the Master’s money.” When the Master returned home, he followed up with his servants. He praised the servant who gained five bags and the one who gained two.
“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ Matthew 25: 24-25
The Master was not pleased with the servant and asked why the servant didn’t at least deposit the bag of coins to draw interest. But the servant was more worried about disappointing someone, letting someone down, than he was about the opportunity in front of him. There are so many times as Christians that we get settled in our comfortable lifestyles, comfortable jobs, and comfortable callings that we miss out on the opportunities that God has placed before us.
You know what I have experienced from times I have stepped out of the inlet? I have experienced growth. My faith grew as I had to trust God more. He had to provide. He had to come through. I depended on Him for the next step, the next move, the next encounter. And because it wasn’t all dependent on me, and my comfort, and my circle, I experienced new and amazing things that God had in store.
“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd
We live our lives splashing and floating in a stagnant inlet when there is a huge ocean that God has provided for us just beyond the sandbar. Do we have the faith to be obedient to God and take some steps outside our comfort zone knowing that growth can happen there? Are we settling for what we have and missing out on the possibilities of what could be? While ducks, seagulls, and people were getting everything they needed out of that inlet that particular day, the opportunities that awaited them beyond that sandbar would have provided so much more!
By: Amy Carrico
Author of Making Moments Matter Blog