When God Parts the Waters, Walk Across

Is This Fun?

We don’t always agree on what will be fun.

Jeff and I were planning out our week in Maine for our 25th wedding anniversary last week. We asked friends for suggestions. We googled Top Things to Do in Maine. We even looked at old library books.

We agreed on most things. And when we didn’t agree, we tried to feign excitement for the other’s sake anyway.

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited about the land bridge.

At low tide in Acadia National Park, a natural land bridge appears. A path reveals itself out of the water to let you walk across from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Bar Island, normally only accessible by boat.

Acadia National Park Bar Harbor

from Maine Trail Finder

But you have to catch it at just the right time—no more than a maximum of 1.5 hours before and after low tide. Do it within that three-hour window, or don’t do it at all. If you don’t walk then, you’ll be swimming.

Jeff really wanted to. I made myself agree to.

When Opportunities Come

Opportunities come to us in many ways.

  • Sometimes God whispers in our ear through someone else’s experience.
  • Or he shows us a cool image and we’re curious to see more.
  • Or he just surprises us out of nowhere with an open door.

Or he parts the waters with a land bridge.

Even when we aren’t particularly interested. Or perhaps a little tired. Or maybe even oddly worried.

I looked up the tide schedule for Bar Harbor. Our magic window would be between 2:45pm and 5:45pm.

We got there around 3:00pm. As we walked down to the water, we saw this sign.

Bar-Island

And we walked forward.

The water that was between Bar Harbor and Bar Island was parting.

Like Moses, we were able to walk across on dry land.

And it was amazing.

Better than I expected. Cooler than I thought. We stayed for awhile on the little island, then walked back across, with plenty of time before the water closed over the land bridge again, as it does twice a day.

monday-walk-bar-island

Just Go

God doesn’t always part the waters for us when we’d like. The opportunities we want aren’t always available or visible.

But when he does make a bridge, maybe he wants us to walk across it.

  • To accept the help when it’s offered.
  • To be the friend when we’re asked.
  • To show up for the experience he arranged.

He won’t leave us stranded.

When he says it’s time, let’s go.

* * *

When have you been surprised by an experience? Do you tend to lean in to new things, or do you have to be coaxed like me? Please share in the comments.

45 thoughts on “When God Parts the Waters, Walk Across

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It was quite a fun thing to do after all! I should know to trust my husband. 🙂 He rarely leads me astray. (Although there was a particular junk store that I only made an appearance in, then retreated to the car and let him linger for another 30 minutes in it by himself. ha)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I was glad I did it too, after it was over! ha. There was one lighthouse that I could NOT do though; I’ll have to share about that later. It was also one of those “go only at low tide” scenarios, but there were bridges and ladders and treacherous rocks ALSO in between. Too many obstacles for this girl. 🙂 It was East Quoddy Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Those lightkeepers were some adventurous souls!

  1. Barbara H.

    I think I would have been exactly like you – no so excited upon first hearing, but finding it really cool in actuality. That’s how I was with the eclipse, actually, mainly because we were going to have a travel a bit to see it, and I thought the crowdedness, traffic, and bathroom issues (thinking there wouldn’t be anything available) would all be major issues. But all of that worked out wonderfully and it turned out to be a neat experience. I really only went for the outing with the family and because my husband and one son were really excited about it. Maybe there is a lesson there, too, that sometimes when we do for others rather than ourselves, God surprises us with unexpected blessings.

    Good life lessons you drew from this, as well!
    Barbara H. recently posted…Fall TreatsMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yep, sounds like we think a lot alike, Barbara. I tend to think about all the details that could go wrong, or at least need to be planned for, whereas Jeff just looks at the big picture and sees fun. 🙂 You’re right; our motives to go do things is often just to be relational. I do believe God rewards that too, thankfully!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      We did have a wonderful time, Bill! Maine was so very, very different than Alabama in much of its coastal landscapes so it was quite a trip for the eyes as well as for the soul.

  2. Trudy

    Happy Anniversary, Lisa! I pray God gives you many more years together filled with His blessings of love, peace, and joy! This sounds like an amazing experience. Isn’t the ground muddy when the water parts? I always find it an awesome thought that the Israelites went through not only parted waters but on dry ground. Blessings and hugs!
    Trudy recently posted…Abiding In the Life-Giving VineMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you, Trudy. I join you in praying that we are blessed with more years ahead with good health and relationship! Yes, the ground was a little soggy all the way across. I had to dump a few rocks out of my tennis shoes when we got back to the other side. 😉 It did make me think about how miraculous (and scary!) it must have been for the Israelites to see the sea parting just for them!

  3. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a land bridge, Lisa. Very interesting, and a great application you’ve made. We really do need to seize the moment, each opportunity as God presents it. Had I been the one deciding to cross, I would have panicked in case someone got that schedule wrong. I don’t know how to swim. And I didn’t know how to swim when I went to Iona Scotland last March. 🙂 But far more than being afraid the ferry would sink, I was afraid of so many other things–flying, terrorism, traveling to a foreign country alone, and space would not permit me here to enumerate all my fears. But I will tell you, Lisa, that I am incalculably grateful that I went . . . that I obeyed God and took the plunge, and crossing an entire ocean to meet Him at the edge of my fear. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it changed my life. The ocean didn’t part, but my fear was split in two by a God who is mightier than it could have ever been. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Love
    Lynn

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ooh, I love this testimony, Lynn. You really stepped out in faith to go to Scotland, and God met you there. These stories always encourage me. He is such a big God and will never let us down, if we’ll be willing to jump into his arms. I too often can let fear hold me back from making that leap, but experience has proven that he blesses our faith when we jump!

  4. Alice Walters

    What a fabulous experience, Lisa! And how right you are that we can’t control the when, where, or how the Lord will present opportunities to us. How sad that too often we allow flesh and fear to keep us from walking across. Thank you for sharing this delightful exhortation!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Alice. We agree that even though we can’t control when these opportunities will open up, we can have our hearts ready for when they do!

  5. Liz

    So much truth here! Now, I really want to take another trip to Maine. We used to there even to Bar Harbor when I was a kid, but I have no memory of a low tide crossing to an island! I think my boys would find this VERY cool! Thanks for tying it all up into a spiritual lesson with a nice little bow, too! In fact, I believe I’m waiting on God’s low tide and need to stop trying to swim… Blessings!
    Liz recently posted…Move Toward the Mess: 6 Steps to TakeMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How cool that you have memories of Bar Harbor! I confess I had never heard of it before this trip. I knew very little about Maine. But what a treasure to discover it last week! It’s a beautiful piece of God’s creation. Hope you will get to take your boys there one day.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Sarah. This was a new part of the US for us as well. I’ve never been that far north and it was beautiful. Granted, I wouldn’t want to be there a few months from now when it’s freezing cold. ha. But it was just right in September!

  6. Joe Pote

    I love this post, Lisa!

    I love your description of the land bridge and of you personal experience…both the trepidation and the amazement.

    And I love the life-lesson correlations drawn…of the reliance on God’s faithfulness…while also being aware of the importance of following God’s timing.

    You alluded to the story of the Great Exodus in which the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land…and caused me to ponder the importance of timing of response. God provided…yet His provision required a response within a fairly narrow window of time.

    Then I thought about the rest of that story…of how God directed them to enter the Promised Land and out of fear they held back. They missed the window of opportunity and spent the next 40 years wandering around in the wilderness.

    Yet, even in the wilderness God was faithful. He still fed, clothed and protected them. He still dwelt among them and gave them both His presence and His word of truth and life.

    And, in the end, they did finally enter the Promised Land, just as God said they would.

    We must be careful to respond to God’s open doors within the allotted time window. Yet even if we fail, He will faithfully give us more opportunities. In the case of the land bridge, twice daily opportunities…

    Thanks for sharing such a thought-provoking post!
    Joe Pote recently posted…Relative ComfortMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Your comment would make a beautiful stand-alone blog post in itself, Joe! Love this lesson you share. I know I’ve missed several windows of opportunity in my life, but yes, God has been faithful to come back around and give me second and third and hundredth chances. Such a gracious God we have!

  7. BettieG

    Hi Lisa,
    What an exciting adventure you had for your Anniversary trip! I am so glad that I said “yes” when the opportunity opened up to join my brand new Vietnamese daughter-in-law on a trip to Vietnam to visit her family. On my own, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to say yes, but when God made it clear that He was the one inviting, I took the giant leap, and did the really scary thing! And just like you shared, there were sweet lessons learned that I would have missed had I said no! Thank you for sharing! And Happy Anniversary to you!
    BettieG recently posted…RevivalMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That was very brave of you, Bettie! I can’t imagine going to Vietnam. But it sounds like God blessed your decision to take that leap of faith! That encourages me. Even small leaps of faith can feel very daring to me, so I love hearing these kinds of stories to spur me on. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, God has indeed led us through many challenges in our 25 years, but thankfully he has walked alongside us in all of them and opened up paths that we couldn’t have on our own. Thank you, Diana!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Karen. There have been lots of journeys God has taken me on that I went kicking and screaming. 😉 But before it was over, I was so thankful he invited me along.

  8. floyd

    That sounds awesome!

    For the most part I’m like you. I’m so busy doing old things that new things don’t always appeal to me… but I’ll admit they’re usually great and I gain much more than I thought I would.

    Although, I don’t suggest going out on the rough Pacific in a lightning fast cigarette boat too soon after a back surgery… yeah… that one was my idea…
    floyd recently posted…ALL TOOLSMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, Floyd, I don’t think I’ll be doing that anytime soon! ha. So sorry that you had that brilliant idea. We do that sometimes, yes? 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. I relate, Barbie. I am not a water person at all. This adventure was actually very safe (as long as your timing was right), although another we attempted didn’t seem so safe…and I totally backed out! 🙂

  9. Leslie

    Lisa, I absolutely loved this. It is such a great analogy as to how God opens opportunities in our lives. There’s only that brief window sometimes and when we are not brave enough to step out we may not get that opportunity again. I was so encouraged by this post because it was just God’s way of telling me today, “It’s OK” as I’m fighting to not let doubts take over. Thank you!
    Leslie recently posted…Is Perfectionism Affecting Your Relationships?My Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad this encouraged you, Leslie. It is very comforting when we realize that God will make a way for us to take the best paths, in ways we couldn’t even imagine!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s just as easy to have a fear of being stranded as it is of walking through the waters. But yes, so glad God is faithful on all accounts! Thanks, Joanne.

  10. ESTHER | CHOSEN & CHERISHED

    I love this, Lisa! What an amazing opportunity to experience “walking on dry ground” like the Israelites. So often, I’ve missed His divine opportunities because I’ve been so focused on a “bridge” I’ve designed. May the waters wash away our expectations so we can truly experience His revelations. Thank you for sharing such a great perspective!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ah, this sentence: “May the waters wash away our expectations so we can truly experience His revelations.” That is a beautiful truth, Esther. Amen. I need to remember this.

  11. Ed

    If God splits the seas before us, we don’t really need another sign that we should cross do we?
    Sounds like the kind of trip I would love to experience!


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