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God’s Power Exemplified

As Bee led me down the beach, her raised tail and upright body demonstrated to me that she was enjoying the sea breeze and the last of the warm fall temperatures. She even loved the feel of the sand underneath her paws. But the one thing she did not enjoy was the sensation of the cold ocean water as it drenched her without warning. 

Bee seemed so confident on dry land but just the brush of the cold ocean water repelled her towards the higher sandy beach and the safety that I had to offer. Aren’t we all like her in a way? When all the conditions of life are to our satisfaction, we appear so confident. But once the cold unpleasant experiences surface, we run towards the comfort that we enjoy?

The Israelites are a perfect picture of how humanity reacts when the waves of life come lapping at our feet. God had just redeemed them from a life of slavery and was leading them out into an unknown existence. The Israelites were in high spirits during their first few miles of their journey but then when they heard the chariots of the Egyptians come out of nowhere, they were terrified and faithless.

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)

God had to create an impossible situation in order for His power to be exemplified. The Israelites had already gone through a night where the angel of death had killed all the first born of the Egyptians but even so, they needed to see an unexplained supremacy take control of the physical world. And that is what God gave them.

After Bee shook the water off, she continued to walk down the beach with a confident air. On the other hand, I looked out over the ocean and waves and was struck by its enormity and force. Thankfully, God didn’t cause the ocean water to stand straight up as I walked the beach. He didn’t have to. Just knowing his word and what he has done in the past is enough to believe that He could.

The Man in the Distance

Carl and Bee are fed at 3:00 and 9:30 pm every day.  Unless I am not at home, they can count on the food being delivered to their dishes without delay. Once the dishes hit the floor, Carl wastes no time devouring it in less than a couple of minutes.

He has never had to fish or hunt for his food. For those who might get grossed out, stop reading. The only kind of hunting Carl has had to do is search for the remains of the poo pooh scattered around the back yard.

There are not many of us that know what it is like to have to hunt or fish for our food. We don’t have a true understanding of the stress that it can cause if we come home without catching a fish or killing an animal for the soul purpose of feeding our family.

The closest I have ever been to understanding the stress that catching fish for a living is by watching The Deadliest Catch. Over the years of watching this show, I have noticed how alarming it is when they pull up a crab cage to find only a couple of small crabs that have to be returned to the ocean.  Almost all of the captains are plagued with major health issues and the crew are always getting hurt.

If this is what happens in today’s world of technology and huge ships, I can’t imagine what it was like for the men who fished in the days when Jesus walked the earth.  In Matthew 4:19 Jesus tells Peter to leave his nets and that He will make him a fisher of men.  So for three years, Peter leaves his nets behind and follows this man in hopes that He will deliver him from a life of fishing.

But after Jesus is crucified and has resurrected from death, Jesus finds Peter fishing again. All night long he and his fellow disciples have cast their nets to bring nothing up out of the water. Exhausted from lack of sleep and wet and cold, I can’t imagine what the men thought when they heard a voice from shore call out, “Children, have you any food?” John 21:5.

When the men cried out “No”, Jesus tells them to cast the nets out to the right side of the boat.” John 21:6

It is hard to imagine what the men thought and felt at this point. They could have felt agitated by the voice if they didn’t know in their hearts who it was. Here was a man that stood at a distance calling them children and telling them to do something that they had tried many times throughout the night.

And even though Jesus stood at a distance, because of the men’s obedience, they caught so much fish that they had to drag them back to shore, all one hundred fifty-three.

How often does Jesus shout to us from a distance?  And when He does, do we obey and receive the miracles that He provides?  Or do we get distracted by voices that are closer to us?

Carl just went outside so I thought I would follow him. Sure enough he went out hunting but because I was so near, he retreated. After a few minutes of knowing that I was in sight, he gave up on his pursuit and headed back in where I gave him a healthy dog treat.

Once the morsel was inhaled, he made his way back outside. This time I decided to just leave him and let him search. This behavior made me think that we can be just like Carl. Looking for poo pooh instead of searching for Jesus in the distance where the real miracles can occur.