Troubled waters. They got Jonah tossed overboard. They shipwrecked Paul more than once and sank Peter when he tried to walk on them.
But God used them. Every time.
A cruise is not the ideal vacation for someone who gets motion sickness. I know this now. Troubled waters at sea made me wonder why Jonah, Paul, and Peter were willing to ever get on a boat a second time. No thanks, I’ll just walk or stay home.
I remember quite clearly the troubled waters I experienced on the one cruise I ever went on. I didn’t just see them from the relative safety of the lido deck. I was forced to walk the gangplank across them. Seriously. We were taking a shore excursion and had to transfer from our cruise ship to another boat at sea amidst winds that were rocking these boats all over the place. I mean, this made The Perfect Storm look like a jaunt in a nice tropical breeze (my completely objective assessment of the situation). This board—was it any wider than a two by four?—with some flimsy rope rails to hold onto was our passageway between two giant hunks of metal thrashing about as water splashed everywhere.
And do you know what the attendant helping us across said to me?
“Watch your head.” This was their biggest concern, really? I was about to become shark food, but apparently sharks don’t like lumpy heads. Trust me, my head was the least of my worries. I was looking down at death below me. Troubled waters indeed. I would have told them this if I hadn’t been afraid to open my mouth (recall aforementioned sea sickness).
But by telling me to watch my head, the attendant drew my attention from the water below me to something above me. I looked up. He shifted my focus and gave me a new perspective.
A few years ago, I was doing the sensible thing and enjoying a body of water from the shore of a lake. It was breezy autumn day and the winds were definitely troubling the waters. The choppy waves gave the lake’s surface a dark and spikey look. You might even say gloomy and a little depressing. Then I turned my head…
…and saw thousands of bright white sparkles as the sun glinted off these same waves.
By changing mine, I allowed the sun’s rays to shine on these troubled waters and now what I saw was something magical and mesmerizingly beautiful.
Perspective. When I allow the Son’s light to shine on the troubled waters of my life—a difficult relationship, physical limitation, workplace environment—I allow God to show me something beautiful He is working out in the bigger picture. My troubles become the canvas God paints His glory on.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. (Luke 8:24-25 NIV)
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. (2 Thessalonians 1:4)
Is there an area of your life where a change of perspective might be in order?