Read John 21:1-18
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1, NLT).
I LOVE THE OCEAN. No, seriously, I do. As much as I have traveled, have been to places like Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, OH, Indianapolis, IN, and Denver, CO., I do not think I could ever live in an area that is extremely far from the ocean. My whole life, I have lived with in an 1 ½ – 2 hours from the shore and day trips to the beach are commonplace.
When I was a young boy, I remember being afraid to go into the ocean. It all started when I was “down the shore” (this should clue you in as to where I live if you are not already from my state) with my parents. I was super young, but old enough to remember the experience. My dad took me in to the ocean and I clung to him, enjoying the waves but also fightened by them.
That day the water was particularly rough and the undertow was strong. At one point, a large wave overtook my dad and I became separated from him. Tumbling through the water and foam, I can remember my terror in slow motion. Of course, I did eventually get my bearings as I washed up on the sand; however, that certainly put a fear of the ocean in me.
For the longest time, I would not go into the ocean. Eventually, I got enough courage to stand at the edge and allow the waves to crash on me where I could stand and they hit no further up than my legs or hips. But the fear of wiping out and possibly drowning kept me from experiencing the sort of freedom and adrenaline the ocean offers.
Eventually, as I got older I became more and more courageous because I knew that a grown man couldn’t be afraid of the ocean. Eventually, I would have children and a family of my own and would bring them to the shore. So, eventually I forced myself to go in the ocean, but I still felt the fear crop up every time I entered and exited through the waves.
Overtime, though, I learned that, while it is important to respect the ocean, there is no need to fear swimming in it. The key is to ride the waves. If you are entering and you cannot get over a wave, ride it and head back out. Or, better yet, you could dive into the wait and ride the water underneat the wave. Either way, you are going with the flow, or underneath it, as opposed to resisting against it. It saves a ton of energy and is a rather fun experience as well.
In our lives, we often try to have such control over our situations that we find ourselves resisting the waves. When things don’t go according to the plan and we find waves pushing us back from where we want to be, or we find a rip current pulling us further out when we want to stay comfortably close to shore, we are best to not resist, but to let go, trust God, and go with the flow. Ride the waves, follow the current, and trust that Jesus Christ will bring us back to the shore at the place we need to be.
Do you trust God that much? Are you willing to let go and let God guide you through the waters? Will you be willing to let go and ride the waves? Will you be willing to ride the current and not resist the movement of the Holy Spirit? If so, you will eventually find that you belong in the ocean, you belong riding the waves, you belong catching the current of the Spirit and that you would want it no other way!
Let us be a people who fully put our faith back in God. Let us trust Jesus Christ when he tells us to NOT BE AFRAID. Rather, let us ride the waves and let God carry us to the next place the Gospel is needed to be shared. That way, we will be effective and faithful ambassasors to the Kingdom of God, in which we have our membership.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
If you stand on the beach staring at the waves, you’ll never be refreshed by the water.
Lord, remove my fear and help me to put my trust in you so that I may go wherever you send me. Amen.