Tag Archives: Calm

Water…

Isn’t water simply amazing?  Right about now, my husband is assuredly rolling his eyes, as several of my readers may be doing as well…I could go on about water at length, and with great delight.  Every now and then it pops into my head about how interesting water is, and I just have to share!

Think about it; if God had not designed and created this wonderful element to behave in exactly the way it does, life wouldn’t work.  We need it to live, and not just in the way many people think about it.  For one simple example; when water freezes, it expands.  With this unusual property…ice floats in water.

Hmmm…ok, so what?  Because ice floats, this allows life to continue on even in the face of winter.  What do you think would happen to all the living things in water where it gets cold enough to freeze, if water sank when it froze?  They’d be dead.  The fact that ice floats makes the fish in my pond very very happy.

Water, like all other God designed elements of nature, can be a friend.  We drink it, we live.  It keeps us healthy; it allows our internal organs to function, it keeps us cleaned out, it is a must for out metabolism, it helps our complexions, helps us lose or maintain weight, etc… etc… (Yes, you want to get healthy faster?  forget all that pop you are drinking and switch to water, and no, kool-aid doesn’t count! )  Water helps us keep clean, allows us to trade and travel with/to other countries, helps us to grow food, keep our animals healthy, gives us a place to play…

Water is to be respected as well.  Drinking too much of it too fast can kill you, floods destroy homes, massive rains and floods can eat away at the earth very very quickly, water forms coastlines, conducts electricity, smooths rocks, can take our life if we drown… Yes, it is like fire and wind; harness and respect it and it can give us energy and life, but in a different form, it is destructive; water has power.

Water is a prominent theme in Christianity.  It is used for both actual cleanliness, and as a metaphor for cleanliness, and even burial.  Baptism is what most people will think of, which is actually based in Judaism, of course.  Baptism is pretty much taking part in being “purified” in a mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath.  We, as Christians, see that as water cleanses our physical selves, faith in Christ and His life, death, and resurrection cleanses our spiritual selves.

It is an outward showing of our faith, and symbolizes how our sin is washed away with faith in Christ, and also symbolizes how the Spirit Himself washes over us.  Water is symbolic of life and renewal, and also of burial.  As Christ was buried when He was dead, so He came up out of the earth to new life; that is what we show by being submerged “dead in our sins” and rising to new life in Christ.

But, the use of water in Christianity does not stop there; Christ Himself is a font of living water, and it can become so in you too upon faith in His name.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

I’ve also shown how Jesus can control of the very elements in a previous post: A call for calm… Water itself can help calm us; I love the sound of the ocean, of a gentle rain, of a babbling brook, or water can make us nervous as well; waves crashing against a boat we happen to find ourselves in, the splash of someone falling into the water, the rushing sound of a flood.

Water is all around us, so it can serve as a reminder of how great God is!  In His creation of water, and His use of water to bring us to Himself in a very meaningful way; God, the life giver, and the purifier of life.  Though we are called to Baptism once upon profession of our faith (and it is the faith in Christ that saves, not the physical act of being dunked) , it is neat just to remember the washing away of our sins whenever we are around water, especially as we bathe, swim, or take a shower.

So, next time you see the rain fall, or hear a river rushing by, or are taking a simple drink of H2O, pause a bit to consider how amazing water really is, and hence how awesome and amazing the Creator is that gave it to us!

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A call for calm…

One of the central teachings of the Bible, and especially of Jesus is a call for calm, or a call for peace.  When we live in a world such as ours it is far easier to worry and to fret than to be content in whatever position we find ourselves in.  I also firmly believe that we will never reach that state of peace 24/7/365, but it is always good to be reminded of it.

One of the things I love about Christ is His teaching methods, and His manner with His friends, the apostles.  The writers of the Bible give us such great visuals, it is easy to put “flesh and blood” on a lot of the stories shared.  One of them is in Mark Chapter 4:

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

So, a storm brewed up and hammered the ship…everyone else is apparently awake, afraid, watching the waves, what is our Lord doing?  Sleeping peacefully.  Notice that the people with Him, didn’t just wake Him up, they didn’t just ask Him to help…what did they do?  “Carest thou not that we perish?”  Don’t you care what’s happening to us?  They attempted to put the ol’ guilt trip on Him.

The Lord gets up and does two distinct things; rebukes the wind, and calmed the waves.  The wind was what was actually stirring up trouble, it gets rebuked (perhaps this has to do with the prince of the power of the air…).  The waves were at the “mercy” of the winds, and they get calmed.  The Lord then asks two questions and they are definitely connected, and yet they cover separate issues.

The first question: “Why are ye so fearful?”  Why are they so afraid?  They’ve been with Christ, they’ve seen God’s power, they know that He is in total and absolute control, yet they fear.  The second question; “How is it that ye have no faith?”  Why don’t they have trust and confidence?  The Lord Himself is onboard, He loves them as friends, He’s been teaching non-stop about faith, yet they have none in Him, or in the Father.  Then, what did they do; they feared exceedingly…not because of His questioning of them, but because of His power over the very elements.

He had to get exasperated.  As far as I know warranted exasperation isn’t a sin, and I can imagine the look on the Lord’s face, can’t you?  Anyway, the point here is that our faith is tied up in our fear or the absence of fear.  We as Christians know that the Lord is in control, we know that God has us in sight, that we can go to Him without guilt trips and ask whatever we need.  We, most of us, recognize that it rains on the just and the unjust alike.  Contrary to what a lot of the cream puff preachers are preaching now-a-days, we were told we would have tribulation in this life; especially if we are Christians.

Peace, be still…we are to be as the waves buffeted by the wind; calmed by His command. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. This is a hard thing to get to, it is hard to really carry out, and I’ve failed at it many a time.  But it is something to think on, and with the help of the Holy Spirit to aim for.  Look at the Apostles; before the resurrection and before the Holy Spirit indwelt them, they often had trouble controlling their fear, Peter even denied Christ three times.  But, after He arose, and after the Holy Spirit came, these men were transformed.  They were calm and content even in the face of torture and death.  Keep in mind, the Lord has the power both to rebuke whatever is causing the problems, and to calm the effect of those problems.

We can really be at peace no matter what rages around us…and as Doc Scott used to say, “Cheer up saints, it’s gonna get worse!”

Again, notice that their fear was connected to their lack of faith.  Grow your faith, and the fear will become less…not what we have to face, but the fear that comes with it will diminish.  I know that there have been times when my fear came out, when there was no good reason that it should, and we definitely shouldn’t try to put a guilt trip on the Almighty.  But our old man and the new do war within us.  Our aim, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to grow that faith, to live from faith to faith, and try to remember that call for calm…

When we are out and about in the world, we Christians can also model that calm for others, and in situations where and when a group of people are scared, if we can remember Christ’s power, and God’s watchful eye, we Christians should be the calmest ones out of the lot.  Again, we will all slip, but it is something to aim for and think about with the help of the Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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Filed under Theology