I wanted to come completely unglued. I had enough and this kid of mine was going to get it! No more moping, whining, complaining, and feeling sorry for himself. My patience was shot, and I was going to have an adult temper tantrum. Yes I understand that he has been fighting chronic illness for a few months. Yes, I understood that he doesn’t feeeeeel like getting out around people. Yes, I understood he was scared of getting sick again, but I was done.
I was curled up in my bed nursing a cold that had struck this morning. Before I arrived in my comfy place I had gone to church, led the ladies in Bible study, had a short lay-counseling session, updated the ministry table decorations, and stopped at the drugstore to get some cold medicine and a little ice cream. My plan was to partake in a cold medicine shooter and chase with frozen dairy, then nap the afternoon away in hopes of chasing off whatever bug was at work trying to conquer my body. Then…the teenager arrived in my doorway.
I couldn’t run, he had already seen me. Maybe if I failed to make eye-contact he would leave. Maybe my horse, barely present voice would chase him off. Or maybe…nope! No such luck there he was, standing at my bedside with the nerve to talk to me! Cranky frustrated, stinky teenage boy had completely disregarded the fact I was sick, and instead had come in for the attack. First came the deep sigh and then the moan for effect. I was a sitting duck. I had to hold on for the ride.
I was certain it would be yet another conversation about how miserable he had been feeling. How he was struggling with the allergies and asthma so horribly this year, and seemed to stay sick all of the time. He was tired, and now that the doctor explained that there was an immune condition causing his illness that we were going to begin to treat, he was even more frustrated. I was tired of hearing it! Tired y’all. Tired of the whining. Tired of the complaining. Tired of him feeling sorry for himself. Tired of him refusing to leave the house. T – I – R – E – D…tired. Then it happened.
No my head didn’t spin around while spitting pea soup. No I didn’t start screaming and throwing things at him. Somewhere deep within my soul I heard the voice of God speaking. “Get out of the boat”. Huh? “Get out of the boat”. Excuse me Lord, I’m not in a boat, I’m in the bed trying to rest! Then it happened. Word started to flow from my mouth…words that could have come from no one other than the Lord. My squeaky, scratchy, horse voice suddenly became loving, compassionate, and firm. The words that flowed were as much for me as they were for my son. “Get out of the boat.”
Get out of the boat because I know that you are in the middle of a storm right now. It feels like a raging hurricane and everything around you is swirling wildly. You’re tired, frustrated, sick, and scared. God is with you in this storm, but you’ve got to listen to Him! There you are hanging out in your nice comfy boat. It’s filled with soft pillows, your belly is filled with tasty food, you’re comfy and warm. All you want to do is stay safely in the boat. God says that’s not how it works! He’s telling you to trust Him and get out of the boat! Just like Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 14:29 He is speaking to you. “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
It’s not about being so strong that you’re not scared. It has nothing to do with feeling great all of the time, or being well rested. It’s not about anything but listening to God. Stop your complaining and your pity party and listen to God! Get up out of that comfortable boat and trust the Lord! He will not let you sink. He will not let you drown. Just trust Him. Get up out of the boat!
As the words left my tongue and graced my ears, I realized that the message my son just heard was one I needed as well. No, not because of a need to hide due to illness, but because of a fear of trusting what God calls me to do at times. How often has He called me to do something…to serve Him…to care for another, and I’ve said, “Lord, I’m just too tired today.” He says, “Get out of the boat.” Trusting God to keep me from sinking…from drowning in the midst of a raging storm in my life, or in the center of a wave created by a call to action is the key He was showing me. It’s time to stop hiding in the boat, toss my legs over the side, and take the first step when God calls. He will never let me fall.
Oh, and as for the teenager who received the same message. He’s smiling tonight, and even hugged me. While it wasn’t what he wanted to hear, he knows now that it’s what he needed to hear. Thank you Lord! My buddy and I are going to get out of the boat.