The Currents are Strong

Sabbatical Day 12

This morning, Lori and I went on a hike to see some more of the area waterfalls. Then, this afternoon, we grabbed books and a couple of adirondack chairs next to the water and spent a couple of hours reading and staring at the lake.

I would read for awhile, and then look up and stare out at the lake, and just let my mind sort of go out of focus as I watched the water.

I noticed that there were gentle swells in the water that were coming from east to west, and washing up against the shore. Lake Superior is big…really big…it’s a sea, really. And I’m guessing that these swells come from far out in the lake, moving towards the shore.

But there was also a gentle breeze, that was going from south to north, and on top of the water, this was causing light waves to be moving, at an almost 90 degree angle to the swells.

Add in to this mix the giant rocks that the Lake Superior shore is known for, some of which tower out of the water, and some which sit just below the surface. The water, powered by the wind and the swells, would break on these rocks and just swirl in different directions, trying to get around the obstacles and back on course.

I stared for a long time at the water. 

We all have a lot of things going on in our lives. Some are obvious and some are hidden. Much is below the surface. We are influenced by the history, the emotions and the experiences that we carry within us. 

We carry self-doubt. We carry fear. We carry the pain of loss or grief. We are nervous about the world around us and on how it may affect us, and those we love.

And there are external things that affect us as well. News of school shootings. War. Political divisions, disease and racial tensions. 

These things pull at us from below, and they push at us from above. And when world events happen, like Russia attacking Ukraine, or shootings at a school or a church, it can feel like our spirit crashing on a rock. And all we do is swirl as we work to get back on course.

I don’t have an easy answer for this. Like the water, we just hope to get back on course. But we do have the gift of hope. 

Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen.” 

When we are pulled in different directions; when there are rocks ahead; when the water swirls around us, we keep our faith and our hope. 

Our faith is in Jesus, God incarnate, who came to be alongside us and who promises that when the water is deep, we are never alone. And our hope is built on nothing less than the God who is good; the God who brings life; the God who preserves God’s people. 

The water has felt deep lately. And the current has been strong. And there are rocks…so many rocks.

But keep your faith and your hope. You are not alone. None of us are. The Jesus who came for all…came for you.

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