Troubled Waters

October 13, 2019

The movie, “Breakthrough” was recently in theatres, and we showed it at Braceville UMC last month as well.  In this movie based on a true story, a teenage boy named John Smith struggles with being adopted, harboring feelings of resentment towards his birth parents, which fosters a rebellious spirit in him as well.  One day, he and his friends decide to ignore warnings not to venture onto the ice of a frozen lake, and fall through into the frigid water beneath it.   While his friends were immediately rescued, John remained submerged well past the amount of time that survival, especially without severe long-term impairment, was thought possible.  And yet his adoptive mother, Joyce, refused to give up.  Her faith and her prayers led to an amazing miracle – John’s complete recovery. 

Let’s face it, we have all been submerged in troubled waters at some time in our life.  Many of us, because of our own personal rebellion against God, parents, teachers, government or some other authority figure in our lives, did things we knew we shouldn’t have done and suffered because of our bad decisions.  Or maybe some real or imagined harm was done to us and it left a scar that we just couldn’t come to peace with.  Or perhaps a host of unplanned circumstances, catastrophes, or disasters not of our own making left us in a situation that seemed desperate, if not downright impossible to overcome.  But no matter the reason, we struggled.  We tried to keep our head above water, but we just couldn’t do it.  We didn’t have the strength or stamina we needed, and we started to sink.  Still today some of us are experiencing that feeling of drowning in troubles that seem impossible to overcome. 

Like Peter in our first Scripture reading (Matthew 14:22-33), we often lose the faith we need to walk on water when we notice the threatening wind and waves around us.  In today’s world there are so many threats to our peace, both external and internal.  From the threats of terrorism, to those of cyberattacks.  Flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons.  Global warming, pollution, and stock market crashes.  New diseases baffling doctors as well as old ones resurfacing, bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and viruses lurking around every corner.  Some people become so fearful that they are afraid to go anywhere, do anything, or even eat 99% of the food out there.   

Get out of the boat and walk on water?  Are you kidding?  Do you know what lurks in that water?  If the flesh-eating bacteria don’t get me, the sharks will!  I ain’t steppin’ foot out of this here boat! 

But what if the Lord asks you to? 

He wouldn’t…  would he??? 

On that note, I would like to share with you a paraphrase of something I read online recently.  It was shared by a friend on facebook from a page called “The Quiet Life”:

"God won't give you more than you can handle..."

Odd, I can't seem to find that verse.

I'm guessing Job would take exception to that cliché. So would Joseph. Paul most certainly did when he wrote, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself..." II Corinthians 1:8

Why would God allow him to experience hurt more than he could handle? Read on, for in the next verse he writes, " that we might not rely on ourselves but on God." II Corinthians 1:9

Truth? Cancer is more than you can handle. So is infidelity. So is caregiving. So is rejection. So is addiction.  So is death and loss and grief and prodigal children and 101 other life struggles.

God doesn't expect YOU to handle it.  He expects you to hand it over to HIM.

He doesn't want you relying on your strength, but on His.

If we keep walking around thinking "God won't give me more than I can handle,"

we're setting ourselves up for heavenly disappointment.

Good news? He beckons for your burdens.  Remember, 1 Peter 5:7 says that you should give all your worries and cares to God, because he cares about you.

The hand of Jesus is reaching out to you today.  He wants to lift you out of your troubled waters, so grab His hand today, put your faith in His strength and not your own, and become what Bart Millard calls a ‘Wavewalker’!  Amen.


Opening Video:  "Walk On Water"  (NeedToBreathe)

Closing Video:  "WaveWalker"  (Citizen Way)