I love the water. I love to look at it. I love to sit on the shore and feel the breeze as it comes across Lake Michigan. I love to walk along the beach, next to the ocean, and feel the warm, gorgeous blue hit my toes. I love to take pictures of it. I am captivated by the way the water is constantly moving and changing. It’s beautiful.
Looking over the ocean, or even the greatness of Lake Michigan captures God’s glory in such a unique, and wonderful way.
But, you know what? Water is also kinda scary.
Think about standing on the shore of an ocean, and looking out over such a great body of water. The unknowns. The vastness. The deep, blue with no bottom in sight. And of course, the sharks!
Seriously, who is NOT afraid of sharks! I have sister (who will remain nameless) that was terrified to take a shower at one point in her life because…sharks. I was afraid of Lake Michigan for awhile (it was a long time ago, okay) because…sharks. I have a sweet, and sometimes naughty (that’s why I love him) little boy in my life that was truly terrified he was turning into a shark after he lost a tooth because…well, sharks! Maybe we should all just stop watching things about sharks…who I am I kidding; we all love Shark Week!
On a more serious note, water is quite scary.
Some of the worst dreams I have involve water. To be more specific, they involve water and drowning. It doesn’t matter who it is, me, my kids, a family member, friends; it’s a horrible nightmare! One that recurs, and I’m just standing there on the shore watching. Feeling helpless and afraid. There is nothing I can do to help, and I know it. Hopeless. That’s how I feel when I wake up.
Hopeless and afraid.
So, I have been thinking about water. Silly things like sharks, and more serious things like waves and storms. And drowning. And fear. And you know what, I discovered?
Fear lies! All the time!
Fear tells you there is no hope. That hoping will lead to hurt.
Fear tells you that you will lose control if you have hope. Fear says that hoping for what’s ahead is as scary as floating in the ocean and not being able to see the bottom. You know it’s there but you can’t feel it; and you should fear anything you can’t see or touch.
Fear lies about what hope is.
Fear lies about who God is.
Do you think, Mary wasn’t terrified when the angel came to her? Instead of letting her fear stop her, she used hope to grow into the woman who God had seen all along. She took the hand of God as He called her into the unknown. Hope made Mary brave.
Do you think Daniel was without fear when he was led into the lion’s den? That Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego weren’t a little concerned when they felt the heat of that fire? Instead of cowering, they held on to the One who had kept them safe and sound all those years in captivity. They used hope to look into the eyes of their captors and declare the goodness of their God; even if He didn’t save them. Hope made them brave.
He made them brave.
Hope doesn’t mean you have no fear, it means you don’t let fear keep you from moving forward. But fear wants us to forget that. It wants us to forget about hope.
Fear lies and says you can’t go on. Fear says you must stay where you are until the storm passes. Don’t move until the waves calm and you see the horizon again. Fear longs for us to forget. But hope looks fear in eyes and says one word: Jesus.
He takes our hand and we move forward together. Into the unknown. Through the storm. Facing crashing waves, He makes us brave.
Not helpless and afraid.
I will choose happy this week because I am not alone. I may have fear, but I also have hope. And hope sees me standing on the shore feeling helpless and walks with me into the water; sharks and all!
He makes ME brave.
Take a listen to this song; it’s so completely worth your time. Trust me!