I love the ocean, but am not a fan of big waves. When I saw the ocean for the first time I was in awe. Seeing it’s vast expanse out the window of an airplane, I was made fully aware of its beauty and it’s power.
When I was much younger, I agreed to a “nice little float trip” down the Brazos River. “Nice” was not the word I would later use to describe it after pouring rain pummeled us and the river rose so rapidly it caused us to topple over and hang on for dear life. Though time seemed to stand still while hanging on to the branch that was our lifeline, our trip was brief, because with a huge sigh of relief, we jumped out at the very first pick up point!
Water is mentioned in the pages of the Bible many times—as life-giving, satisfying and refreshing as well as being a rising flood or turbulent waters.
A fascinating story in the book of John tells of a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda. This was no ordinary pool of water:
“Within these [colonnades] lay a multitude of the sick—blind, lame, and paralyzed—waiting for the moving of the water, because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. The first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had.” John 5:3-4
I can’t help but wonder about the turbulent times we are facing as a nation. It sure seems that God “stirring the waters”. Will we sit idle and wish that for something better or different, or will we will stand up and walk by faith? I believe that God is Sovereign. He knows the human condition. He knows we are broken, blind and in need of a fresh perspective of His power.
His response to those who criticized Him when He healed this man on the Sabbath?
“My Father is still working, and I am working also.” John 5:7
Let that encourage you. God is not idle. He is at work in this world, and just as it was in Jesus’ day, some will scoff, some will turn away and others will flat out reject Him. Surrendering to His plan and His purposes in this world means that we can choose to trust Him right in the middle of dark, turbulent waters.
In Jeremiah chapter 2, God calls himself “The Living Water.” He is our sustenance, the life-giving source of all that we need—yet, sometimes we find ourselves in choppy waters just like the disciples did on the Sea of Galilee and we fail to recognize His presence. We look all around us and get discouraged, frustrated and afraid. Far too often we find ourselves spending more time looking at our present circumstance or focusing on the concerns of life than we do focusing on God’s Word, His promises and His perspective. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid we will miss seeing the miracle.
One day He and His disciples got into a boat, and He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they were sailing He fell asleep. Then a fierce windstorm came down on the lake; they were being swamped and were in danger. They came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey him!”
Let this be a gentle reminder that Jesus is in control. The water may be rising and you might be drowning in fear, but there is one true God and He can calm the storm inside of you.