Step Out

I’ve had a dream…

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There is a storm raging around me while I am tossed about in a wooden sailboat. I am concerned because of the wind and waves pelting the small vessel, but I’m not afraid.

I hear a voice in the wind. It’s a voice I know. Even though I can’t tell the origin of the voice, I know it is my favorite voice to hear. I crane my neck into the wind, straining to hear every syllable. I forget the storm while listening to the foreign melodic phrases reaching my ear.

The hairs on my arms stand on end and I notice my entire body is electrified, charged as if lightning swirls within the sound of the voice. And then I understand. Suddenly, I know what the voice is saying. “Step out. Step out. I’m here. Step out.”

Now the terror tries to claw at my throat. Step out? Step out of the safety of the boat? Surely I heard wrong. The voice wouldn’t tell me to do that… would it? I calm my racing thoughts and listen, hoping there is a different message on the wind. I hear nothing. Did I imagine it? Was it real? Maybe I am dehydrated… or delirious. The intensity of the storm must be getting to me. Have I lost my mind?

And then I hear the voice anew. A whisper amid the howling wind… “Step out.” This time I don’t think. I don’t pause to consider the ramifications of the action I am about to take… one leg over the side of the boat, the other leg following. The rough wood digs into my hands and splinters cause blooms of pain in my palms.

My feet touch the churning water beneath. Will I sink? I can swim but the voice said “Step” not dive. I don’t think I could swim for long in the waves around me. I take one more gulp of air into my lungs and let go of my wooden safety net.

Startled, I look down. I’m not sinking and my feet feel as though they are on something solid. Is it glass? Is it stone? The waves are still lashing at my legs but my feet are steady on an invisible path. Extending my right leg, I touch my toes down, daring to hope the pathway is more than the square beneath me.

I hear the voice once more, gently persistent, “Step out. I’m here.” I hear the screaming within my head, a shrill desperation to flee to safety, to preserve myself. As I turn to look back at the boat, my feet start to sink as if in quicksand. I snap my eyes forward and listen for the voice of peace. My legs pull free of the sinking sand and find purchase again.

There is no turning back now. One step. Another. And another. The boat must be a mile away now. Another step. One more. The angry waves still crash around me and threaten to overwhelm me, but the path is always there. If I hold my head just right, the way looks almost crimson extending out from my toes. Another step. The melodious voice meets my longing ears again… “I’m here.” I take another step.

I look down and this time I see two feet standing next to mine. A scarred hand is underneath my arm, ready to catch and steady me. I look up, in awe of the One beside me. His eyes are kind. His hair is unruffled by the wind… it cannot touch Him. I notice the wind and waves aren’t touching me anymore either. The sea beneath our feet transforms into a smooth sheet of glass, solidifying as a ripple of power radiates out from Him.

He turns to look at me and the only thing holding me up is His hand beneath my arm. One word proceeds from His mouth. “Prophesy.” I start to say I don’t know how, but the words die on my lips. Again comes the melody… “Prophesy.” I am undone. I open my mouth. I hear the voice… His voice… His breath… from my lips. His melody fills my lungs and brilliant light bursts forth.

I wake up.

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If you’ve struggled to step out of the boat, the only safety you have known, you are not alone. His voice is on the wind. Listen for Him.

It only takes a step. One step of faith. And then another. He will meet you among the waves. He will set you upon solid ground and lift you up with His right hand.

Prophesy to your circumstances. Do not let the waves you see stifle your voice. Speak His beautiful name to silence the wind… “Jesus.” My friend, His breath is what gives you life. His voice brings dry, brittle bones back to life. Speak His truth to what you see. His truth is what will burst forth.