Walking Through Water
Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen. – Psalm 77:19 (NRSV)
The last two miles of St. Cuthbert’s Way cross the floor of the North Sea. You have to time it, of course, for the two windows each day when the path between the Northumbrian coastline and Holy Island dries out (relatively).
Kyle and I started the day 15 miles from the water, woke early, and kept a dogged pace all morning to make sure we got there on schedule. I had studied the route for months, plotting out our journey with precision so we didn’t get stranded on one side or the other (let alone in the middle!).
Even with tide tables, guidebooks, and poles stuck deep in the seafloor to mark our path, it felt like an act of faith to hike into the middle of the ocean, to find myself a mile in either direction from dry land.
How much more so for the Israelites, who simply saw their opportunity and had to take it? Who had Pharaoh’s army at their backs and no time to ask when the Red Sea might come crashing in again?
In my experience, that’s often how it feels to be led by God. A way opens, and I’m invited to take it. Not a moment to consider my options until I’m already a mile out to sea, wondering whether I can make it across.
Starting a church. Having a child with special needs. Pastoring through a pandemic.
Seeing the mighty waters surging around me. Trying to trust that the one who brought me this far will guide me safely to the far shore.
Pathmaker, open a way and bring me through.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.