Sitting in an Air B&B, looking out the window at the Gulf of Mexico I begin to ponder. Watching the waves crest and crash, the water foam, sea gulls struggling to fly against a strong wind has me thinking about how it all works together. I sat on the balcony this morning and watched a bird fly just a few feet away with a fish in it’s grips. People playing in the sand and running away from the chilly water as it breaks and sloshes over towards them. Pelicans bobbing in the more gentle waves a few dozen feet out from the shoreline.
It’s chaotic and peaceful at the same time. Creatures are fighting to survive and people are fighting to enjoy themselves and have fun. The roar of the ocean is never ending and sometimes deafening, dotted with the sounds of laughter, annoyed parents yelling at kids to not go any further and the various birds singing their songs.
It’s hard to believe that anyone can relax and refresh with all of this going on, but that’s exactly what everyone here is looking for and doing.
During His first missionary encounter, Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well and promised that any who drink of the Living Water will never thirst again. What is this water and how can we drink it? It’s as simple as just accepting Him into your heart and obeying what He has taught us, to love one another as we love ourselves.
I’ve touched on this encounter before. It’s the first time that we see Jesus speaking about why He was here. He went to a well in Samaria and spoke with a woman there. Both of which would have been huge taboos for a good Jewish man, especially a rabbi. He let her know in His own way that He was there to love her regardless of her past and that He was there to save not only the Jews, but everyone including the Samarians that the Jews despised.
Did you know that in the Old Testament, there is a reference to the Living Water? In Exodus 15:22-26 when the Israelites were in Marah, there was a well that was undrinkable. God told Moses to place certain pieces of wood in the water and they would be able to drink it. God provided the water that they would need in order to survive in the wilderness.
So what about all of the chaos that I was mentioning at the beginning? The world is a crazy place. There’s all kinds of chaos going on. People are giving into sin and crime is abundant. Life is difficult and things happen that can test and even ruin your faith. Things seem to come at you from every which way and all at once. Life is chaotic.
But if you look, you can find your peace. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will help you stand strong in the crashing waves of life and the thrashing winds of the enemy’s temptations. The birds and wildlife that are fighting for survival are a metaphor for us as well. Even in the most difficult of conditions, God will provide for us. He will give us what we need to survive and not just survive, but thrive. There will be days when it’s almost impossible to see how we will make it, but even during the storms of life, God is there and He will provide. Then there will be days where the seas are calm and the winds are mild. On those days, what we need will be easy to find and God provided that too.
There will be people around us making all kinds of noise and fighting for their peace. Regardless of where we look, someone out there is struggling. We can’t be distracted by their struggle. But we do have to be there for them. That’s the Great Commission, to go forth and make disciples of all nations. We first have to take care of our faith and then we can reach out and shows some others who are struggling the peace that Jesus can bring to their lives.
We are called to fight the storms of life and shows others that it’s possible for them. And to love them during their struggles, even if their struggles look worse than our own. There is no gradation of sin. Sin is sin. The sin in my life is just as bad as the sin in yours, or the sin of people who have done things that we may consider absolutely heinous. To bring peace to our lives and show the world how to have peace, we must love unconditionally regardless of how hard it is.
The next time you’re struggling to fight through life, there’s hope for peace. Look to Jesus. When you see someone struggling, help them to look to Jesus. One small, simple act can change someone’s life for eternity!