when oceans rise

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life? Whether it’s by hard or wonderful things, I know that, for me, there is a limit, and when that limit gets crossed, I need time to recover. As an INTJ (Introvert-Intuitive-Thinker-Judge), with the top StrengthsQuest of Intellection, I absolutely must process literally everything that happens to me to the point where it is annoying.

I think a lot of this comes from my academic discipline.

As an English Literature major, my work mainly consists of interpretation. Interpretation of events in stories, characters themselves, symbols, irony, setting, and more. I do the same thing with my life.

For example, in September, I had about seven different articles of clothing literally come unraveled. Jeans, sweaters, pajama pants, my favorite purple top. The list goes on. I jokingly told my fellow English major best friend that it was symbolic of a life coming unraveled. Haha. But on the way to classes, back from dinner, going through the motions of getting ready for bed, I wondered if there wasn’t some truth in that. Internal thinking can drive you mad, and my constant over-analyzation is probably on the verge of a mental disorder. The very substance of contemporary fiction, in all honesty.

Sometimes, I just want answers to why everything plays out the way it does, and I should be able to find those answers according to my literary analysis skills of steel. 

But when I want answers, Jesus Himself is often the answer I get. 

“The boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” (Matthew 14:24 NIV)

I’m not even overwhelmed by bad. Just complex. I suppose it’s part of growing up. But either way- good, bad, happy, or sad -being overwhelmed is like a storm. It’s like the storm in Scripture where Jesus and Peter walk on water. There are actually several storm stories in the Bible (because they’re metaphors for being overwhelmed!! says the English major), but I like the one with Jesus walking on water because, instead of calming the storm, Jesus just walks over it.

Sometimes, I think I want a calmed storm more than a Savior who can walk above raging waves.

“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.'” (Matthew 14:28 NIV)

Peter didn’t even ask for Jesus to calm the storm before he took the first step, and the storm did not end until they were both back in the boat (14:32). Why would Peter want to try to walk on water? I always thought he seemed like a bit of a showoff at this part, but now, I like to think that maybe Peter knew that if Jesus was out there- in the midst of chaos, complexity, and confusion- then it would be okay for him to be there too.

What do you think?