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Friday, 12 June 2015

What lies beneath?

A few years ago we had the opportunity to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Not being the best swimmer and never comfortable out of my depth, never mind out of sight of land, I prayed all the way out to the reef for peace not just to do it, but to really love seeing one of God’s great wonders of our world.

God answered that prayer in an amazing way and it remains one of the best experiences of my life.
One significant memory I have is the uncomfortable sensation of having choppy waves splashing in my face, propelled by the winds (which culminated in a hurricane later that night). That contrasted sharply with the utter peace and magical beauty of the underwater world when I put my facemask to the surface of the water and observed. It was breathtakingly beautiful and revealed a completely different reality, one in which life went on in an unhurried, lazy-looking way.

When storms and even hurricanes arise in our lives, it is so easy to focus on the choppy waters, the high winds, and the unknown but vividly imagined devastation to come. I am in such a situation now, but I am challenged, reminded, and calmed by the certainty that if I keep my gaze on Jesus, it is like looking at the peaceful culture of the underwater reef. Praising him for his love, his constancy, his presence, his participation in all that is going on to the benefit of all involved – whether or not I perceive it – encourages me to take a deep breath and renew my efforts to focus on him. 

The hurricane still hit Queensland that January day, fortunately after we had reached shore and disembarked from the boat! Jesus calmed his panicking disciples once when they were being tossed about in a violent storm, reassuring them of God’s care and protection – and then speaking peace to the wind and waves. 

He speaks peace to the storm in my life and yours today. The winds and waves may continue as events unfold, but if we can maintain the peace of Jesus deep within, we will have a significant victory. It may be a sign of Kingdom life which reveals Jesus to others.

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