Sunday, July 2, 2017

When You Pass Through the Waters, I Will Be With You

I showed this map of the Sea of Galilee and the places of many of Jesus' miracles to my kids when I was sharing with them about my recent trip to Israel.

The question most of our tour group had was how could there ever be such winds and waves in this small body of water that could cause such fear in those who were sailing from one side to the other? Our guide told us that there have been waves that exceeded eight stories on those waters. No wonder the disciples were concerned for their lives.

Over the years, our family has enjoyed every water feature you could imagine. We frequented lakes and rivers all over the U.S. and Canada where we camped, sailed, fished, river rafted, canoed, and kayaked, and there are no adequate words to convey about the majestic oceans and seas that we cruised.

I recall my Sweetheart sitting back, delighting in the stillness and beauty of those moments in all of those water places. He loved taking it all in. He was "home" by the water. I'm quite sure he's made sure that our mansion in heaven is right by the River of Life.

What if life was like living by a pond or lake? A lake can represent stability and tranquility. A lake doesn’t change much from year to year. With the exception of a severe storm (we were at the lake on plenty of occasions when a tornado was coming through), a lake is a secure place with clear boundaries, stable waters, and a quiet shore. There is a sense of order, control, and safe predictability about a lake, with few major surprises from day to day.

I have found life to be more like traveling down a river. It's extremely unpredictable and filled with many twists and turns, highs and lows, rapids and calms, unseen obstacles and unexpected objects that go drifting by. But, it can also be filled with exhilarating experiences that are packed full of adventure. You can ride the currents of a fast flowing river in a raft or kayak, but you have to avoid the potential dangers which can be devastating to a rider. We know that for a fact – when, one time, our kayaks tipped over and we were pulled into the rapids, and but for the grace of God, could have lost our lives. Our kayaks went on down the river….without us in them. Thank God, we had on life preservers.

As we journey on, we want life to be safe and secure for us and our loved ones, like that lake with borders -- no big changes or surprises. But, in reality, life is more like a river as it is continually moving in ways that we cannot control, predict, or expect.

The good news for us is that our security, stability, AND sanity are not found on the rivers of our lives, but in the Lord of of our lives. Our hope is in Him who knows the way through the obstacles and the twists and turns. Our peace is found in the One who directs our course. Our hope is fixed upon the One whose hands not only created the waters, but calms them, and He is THE ONE Who causes the unpredictability of the waters to work things together for our good.

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you....."