“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalms 42:7-8 NKJV
My mornings are silent. Frequently I open my eyes to the sight of my ceiling fan, beating the air with a near silent rhythm that I have come to depend on to sleep. Much like the character in Apocalypse Now, I lay there thinking, “ is this still life.” As he was still stuck in Saigon, I have another day to live on this dying planet.
I lay there trying to reflect on all I had contemplated the day before. Very often the BBC app chimes in with some story that reminds me that the world I am living in is in steep decline.
In that opening moment of the day, I can feel a deep darkness, and I am overwhelmed. For a moment, I feel abandoned by God, for all the fleshly things in me sing out, as my body aches, and mortality screams from every movement and every joint.
The withering of my tent has provided me a microcosmic perspective of the decline of this failing world, and I often feel as if I am like Jonah, cast into the deep sea in the belly of the big fish. Filled with affliction, I call out to God. Like Jonah, I am heard.
There are many who are experiencing the struggles of this present time, many of them without God. They face the horrors of this world with no hope, no recourse and no answers. They are caught up in the sea, being pulled downward. There is no-one to call out to, only the silence as they drown in a sea of unforgiveness.
Those of us who are the followers of the Lord Jesus, who have been born again, have been placed into the same sea, to demonstrate that we serve a God that is in the rescue business.
The Lord uses trial to get our attention. I love reading through Psalm forty two, for it reminds me of the way my Lord uses trials, and how in the midst of the trial, He is right there, waiting to save us.
The life of the follower of Jesus is not unlike the life of Jonah. We have been called to take a message of the God/Man, reviled and slandered into a world that hates Him. We bring the true message and depiction of Him to a world that desires its sin.
The world wants a Jesus that is loving and permissive, willing to wash the feet of sinners, making no mention of their sins. But Jesus came to save people from their sins, thus transforming them, saving them, making them disciples, for whom He joyfully washes feet.
When He comes again, and think very soon, He will come to judge.
The world hates this message and hates us. It is a struggle to stand for the Lord when those who revile us the most are the ones that must approach with the saving message of the Good News.
Jonah was called to go to the Nineveh, a country that so brutalized the children of Israel. He wanted nothing more than for the Lord to destroy them, but he also knew the character of his God, for He desired to save. In his disobedience, he sought to flee. One cannot flee from God. He was cast into the sea.
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God. “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.”
Jonah 2:1-7 NKJV
In the darkness of his affliction, Jonah became obedient. Some of us will find ourselves in affliction as we seek to avoid the calling the Lord has placed upon us. We have been called to do something, and we have chosen to go and do something else. Even in that darkness we can call upon the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, the future seems bleak, and the calling uncertain. It can seem as if they Lord has called us to a mission impossible, as we go into a world that truly hates God and those who stand for Him. But we must press on.
We know that the Lord is our lifeguard, the one who reached down to us when we were sinking in sin. Like Peter, we have been called out onto the water, in the midst of stormy seas. Let us keep our eyes on our Savior Jesus, and not on the waves around us. If we do stumble, let us remember that Jesus is there, and He will save us before we drown.
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?””
Matthew 14:25-31 NKJV
Do not doubt the Lord’s deep, deep love for you.
You might be one who feels lost at sea. Jesus wants to save you! Just call out like Peter: “Save me!”
Deep water is coming, my people. Let us call out to the Lord for He is our lifeguard.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!