I’ve learned in many ways that I will not make a living by being on the sea. Probably the biggest reason is because I get seasick. About a year ago I got an opportunity to go out with my daughter on a deep sea fishing trip. I had never done it, so it seemed like it would be a memorable experience. Going out I was pretty excited. We were on a medium sized boat with people sitting on benches on both sides of the boat. So far so good…but it was only about twenty minutes in. Ha! After that, it got super choppy as the boat seemed like it was trying to ramp the waves. About that time, and the rest of the two hour trip out, all I could picture in my mind was when the boat tipped over (when, not if, because at the point it was just inevitable for me). I was looking at what to grab onto and how I could get to my daughter and save her. If I couldn’t get to her (stop judging, I had to have a contingency plan…don’t tell my wife), then I was just thinking about what I could hold onto. We made it out there, but I barely made it off the bench before I got to revisit what I had just eaten for lunch. Why in the world did I eat a huge chicken fried steak?! So I learned that I do not like deep sea fishing.
I don’t believe I would like to do scuba diving either. Maybe in shallow water, really close to shore? If I could easily get to the top and out of water, then it might not be bad. There’s something that can happen to scuba divers that sounds terrifying. If the divers are down far enough, they can become disoriented. They literally get turned around and don’t know up from down. You start getting low on air and you begin to lose it so you swim as hard as you can up to get out, but you find out you were actually going deeper. I can’t imagine the fear that sets in and the panic that ensues in that scenario.
The world is disoriented right now. You might choose another word to describe what is presently taking place, but you can’t deny it is disoriented. It seems that we don’t know up or down, right from wrong. And if we let that realization sink in, it can paralyze and cripple. I believe that’s part of the reason many of us take to social media to yell, disagree, cry out, and fight with whomever takes the bait to no avail. Most don’t know what to do.
Some of you may be drawing up your battle plans for future Chop Nations, or even creating your own money, since there seems to be a shortage. “Is this the end? Are we going to have to take the mark of the beast?” When we become stressed, worn out, or disoriented, nothing seems to make sense. I believe we’re looking for and expecting the worst. Now I am certainly not saying we shouldn’t fight when needed, or take changing times seriously. I do, however, want to remind us of encouraging words from the Bible. Paul reminded us of our actual standing in Christ. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus said when we are in Him (or more clearly in this context when we have everything stripped away, or we’re uncertain, and our vulnerability reveals our weakness), that is precisely where we can be the absolute strongest. Why? Because we’re no longer relying on ourselves, but we are forced to trust God. Picture someone who is drowning. If they kick around in fear, trying to keep themselves up, while someone is trying to save them, it is more difficult. But when the one being saved let’s go and allows their rescuer to do their job, it goes much more smoothly and the fear begins to dissipate.
I know you may be going through the toughest time in your life. I see the same news as you. I can feel the change and see the results taking place with my own eyes. I simply want to remind you that the God who told us that we are stronger in weak times when we are in Him is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is the Creator and Sustainer of creation. “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Jesus is also the same One who said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
The disorientation is real. It can affect everything and it is. But the Rescuer is here and He has overcome all obstacles. He is merely calling for us to trust in Him alone. And the really crazy thing is, when we do trust Him, we actually become stronger, more aware, and everything makes more sense.