Deep Waters Can be Safe and Peaceful

Boca Pass between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico at Boca Grande, Florida. Cayo Costa in the background. BJ Gabrielsen photo.
Boca Pass between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico at Boca Grande, Florida. Cayo Costa in the background. BJ Gabrielsen photo.

There are some highly interesting medical news items to be posted in the next week or so but I first need to share the following.  I was raised near the east end of Long Island Sound and learned to swim at a young age. When my parents would hold me up in shallow water where I could touch bottom, there was little challenge. That was easy. But soon, they would take me into deeper water above my head. Even as the waves would splash in my face, I remained very calm with complete trust as long as I was in my parent’s grasp.  As men who are facing prostate cancer, we can think of ourselves as being in “deep waters”.  Our condition is not something we would have wished for ourselves. In the book of Luke chapter 5, verses 1-11, Jesus’ disciples had fished all night without success. But when the Lord challenged them to head into deeper waters, they caught fish in abundance beyond their wildest expectations. Deeper waters can be a source of blessing. As Christians, we can waste our lives standing on the shoreline never venturing beyond ankle-deep water. There we need little help from the Lord. But when we find ourselves in deeper waters, we need God desperately. When we are in the deeper waters of prostate cancer, we find we must relinquish control of our lives. While we can seek to maintain our bodies in the best ways possible by nutrition, exercise and medications, we can no longer determine our own fate.  To the Christian (meaning one who has a personal relationship with God through faith in Christ), God is our captain who upholds us with His strong hands just as my parents did for me as a child learning to swim.  The surrendered believer experiences God and Christ more intimately than someone on shore can; we can receive a boatload of God’s goodness and blessings. We must hold fast to the truth that God will never remove His hand of support and strength from us.  Jesus’ own words (John 10:27-29) bear witness to this fact. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them…..and I give eternal life to them; and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father (God), who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

Have we as individual Christians actually submitted our conditions to the Lord?  Charles Stanley writes that “we often want to cling to a measure of control in case God doesn’t work events to our satisfaction. Too many Christians are content merely to dip their toes into faith because they fear life might not turn out according to their plan. But how much greater their loss will be if life doesn’t turn out according to God’s plan. He can do much more with a surrendered existence than a sheltered one.”  The process of surrendering our condition to God is a continuous, daily one.  Visualize packaging the prostate cancer and laying it at the foot of Christ’s cross and leaving it there.  Alternatively, place it in a box (called God’s box by one author), and depositing it in the box and locking it. The Christian life, even to a prostate cancer patient, becomes exciting when we wade into water so deep that our feet no longer touch the bottom. Then all we have to stand upon are God’s promises, but they are more than enough.

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