In youth, we seldom think of our own limited existence on planet earth. Each day is an adventure that has no end; invincible and immortal we play with our days as if the carnival will never close. Only in age, disappointment, and despair or pain, sickness and death do we come face to face with the limitations that are the boundaries defined by decades not centuries.
Looking out over the placid sea, at rest from high winds and turbulent waves, life is good. But the sea does not remain placid, often, and without warning, it becomes petulant. Rogue waves and tsunamis are moving toward us even as we play child-like on the beaches of self-will.
Navigating the oceans of life? How can we, as insignificant individuals, stand against or even in harmony with the immeasurable "mar"? How do we overcome it's severity in order to live life enjoying the sensational beauty of it's soulish draw?
Finding peace with the Creator of the ocean brings both courage and clarity to the dilemma of the ocean of life. Jesus and his disciples interacted often with the sea; often challenged by it's unmerciful movement, always victorious over it's menacing motion. Fearless in front of it's force, the Lord of Glory displayed for us our dominion over all that the ocean of life can bring to us.
Asleep in the bow of the boat, Jesus was seemingly unaware of the dangerous situation the disciples were dealing with on the high seas. As it is written, "The disciples went and woke him up, saying,'Lord, save us! We are going to drown.' He replied,'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." (Matt. 8:26) High waves and winds are not a threat to Jesus; with just a Word, He rebuked the tormented elements and they obeyed. The disciples gasped at such authority: "What kind of man is this?" (Vs. 27) And we, also, gasp when the very trial that threatens to drown us in despair suddenly dissipates when we call out to the Lord of Glory to deliver us! The seas of life become calm and navigable when we submit ourselves to the Voice of the One who speaks into our situations with power and authority.
And again the disciples were challenged by the storms on Lake Galilee. This time, however, Jesus was not in the boat with them. As they struggled to row to shore amidst the lightening, rolling thunder and raging waves, they saw what their fearful minds interpreted as a "ghost." Immediately, the Lord called to them; "Take courage, don't be afraid!" Peter grasped the opportunity to enter the supernatural realm: "Lord if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." Well, of course, it was the Lord and so he had to reply: "Come." ( Mart. 14: 22-23) Peter fared very well until he took his eyes off The Lord and looked at the wind and waves. At that point, Peter began to sink, crying out "Lord, save me." ( Least we be to hard on Peter, how often have we looked at the circumstances of our own life's storm and begin to sink; we sink into depression, we sink into self-pity, we sink into bankruptcy, we sink into the murky waters of doubt and unbelief, we sink. Thankfully, if we acknowledge our desperate situation before Almighty God, we will hear the voice of the Lord calling.) Jesus called to Peter, "Take courage, don't be afraid." Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, 'You of little faith, why did you doubt,' he said." And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
When the Lord shows himself mighty on our behalf, when the ominous ocean of unbelief is stilled by his compassionate call, we worship. We suddenly understand that all of the tides of life are pulling us toward His hand and His voice. Caught in the undertow of life is the enemy's design to destroy us, but it is the Lord's opportunity to save and deliver. Battling the high seas at midnight only allows avenues for the demonstration of God's great love and assisting grace.
I have come to understand and embrace the truth: "Nothing touches my life that is not filtered through the hand of Almighty God." For good or for evil, the Lord of all is intimately aware of every breath I breathe, every step or misstep I take, every breaker that floods my soul or lifts me to higher heights. He is the Creator of the ocean of life, the Calmer of every rogue wave, the Voice that sounds the depth of the sea, and the Light that pierces the dark waters of despair. He who Rules and Reigns knows my name, the number of hairs on my head, my thoughts, and my words before I say them. I need only to call to Him and He will answer. He will save. He will deliver. He will rescue. He parts the Red Sea. He speaks peace to the waters of Galilee. He turns the stormy tides of the Jordan. It is He "who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty water." (Is. 43:16) "Do you not fear Me? declares the LORD, 'Do you not tremble in My presence? for I have placed the sand as a boundary fro the sea. An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail. Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it." (Jer. 5:22)
Do you see it now? Life as an ocean? Your life? The God that created you also plans the days of your life. Just as the oceans, He sets the boundaries of your life with eternal decrees: "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope, an expected end.' (Jer. 29:11) "I have planned each day of your life and written them all in my book."(Ps. 139) Let us, then, fully embrace the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Let us fully understand and live life with His words resounding in our ears: "Take courage, don't be afraid!, Come unto me," even as He silences the raging waves with His authority: "Peace be still."
ALL GLORY TO HIS NAME. AMEN!