DayBreaks for 3/28/19 – Walking on Water

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DayBreaks for 3/28/19: Walking on Water

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

From WORLD Magazine, February 13, 1999: “Disneyland-style special effects are coming to the Holy Land. A private contractor will build a submerged bridge on the Sea of Galilee so pilgrims can walk on water. “It will not be too kitschy,” claimed Zeev Margalit of Israel’s National Parks Authority. This man-made miracle will arrive in Capernaum next August as part of Israel’s preparations for an anticipated 4 million visitors arriving for millennium celebrations. The crescent-shaped floating bridge will be 13 feet wide, 28 feet long, and hold up to 50 people at once. For full effect, it will sit two inches below the water – with no railings. Instead, when people fall off the bridge, boats and lifeguards will rush to save them.”

We’ve all wished we could walk on water. Maybe it was to get across a freezing-cold mountain stream without getting wet, or to avoid getting soaked in a rain puddle. Either way, it would be a great “trick”, wouldn’t it?

When I read this story about “walking on water” at the Sea of Galilee, it struck me that this is no different than what most of us do every day: we are constantly trying to elevate ourselves to “God” status. You see, only God can walk on water without help. Yet in his undertaking, Mr. Margalit is going to be creating the illusion that we can do what God does. Well, here’s a hot scoop right off the press: we can’t. It’s no different than the lie Satan told Eve in the garden: “You will be like God…”.

We want to appear holy – we can’t; we want to decide what is right and wrong – we can’t because it’s already been decided; we want to walk on water – but it’s not our calling. Or at least, not until August 1999. And even then, it will be artificial.

When we pretend to be God, we’ll fall and need to be rescued, just like those who will fall off this submerged bridge. When we try to play God, we get all wet!!!

Romans 12:3 says: “…I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment….”

We need to learn to be what we are and stop pretending to be who we aren’t. We aren’t divine. We cannot do the things that God can do. Whenever I get too big for my britches, I’m bound to fall into the water and need someone to rescue me.

Let’s let Him do the things only He can do – like saving us, forgiving us, judging, and walking on water! Let us stop fighting Him for supremacy in our life and let Him rule in our hearts as we humble ourselves before Him.

Prayer: Lord, we give You our worship as You alone are God!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 8/21/17 – On Rough Water #1

DayBreaks for 8/21/17: On Rough Water #1

Matthew 14:22-27 (ESV) – Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

I’ve been blessed to go to Israel and see the Sea of Galilee. In fact, I’ve crossed it in a boat. When we were there it was pretty peaceful, but strong winds can come up from the south that are funneled into the lake and they can be fierce…and deadly. It is amazing how having been there makes a story like this come alive.

The sea is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. There are several other key facts that we must understand before diving into this story.

  1. We don’t know what time of day it was when Jesus put the disciples into the boat, but presumably it was still light as he’d just finished feeding the 5000. We know it was in the afternoon or evening because the feeding of the 5000 takes place late in the day. And the disciples had just witnessed that miracle.
  2. We don’t know what time of year it was so it may have been nearly dark when the disciples set out.
  3. We know that there were fishermen among those in the boat – men who had been on the lake for probably several decades with their dad’s, and now in their own boats.
  4. We don’t know how far the boat had been able to go in the storm, but they were a long way from land…certainly too far to swim in a raging storm.

So, now, somewhere between midnight and 3 a.m. (we know that because it was “the third watch”) these seasoned sailors and fishermen were desperate. The storm must have truly been fierce because it is only 8 miles wide at the widest spot and they’re still far from land. Try to imagine their weariness from fighting the storm, their growing fear for life and limb. And then, an apparition comes toward them across the water.

They believe it is a ghost, perhaps sent to collect their own souls. I don’t blame them for being terrified. I would have been, too. When is the last time you saw someone in a corporeal body walking atop the water?!

So, they cry out. I can picture them pointing as the apparition gets closer and closer. They can’t make out who it is – perhaps they were too afraid to look closely. They scream it is a ghost. And what is Jesus’ response? It says Immediately, Jesus spoke to them, “Take heart, it is I! Do not be afraid.

Yeah, right. If you read just a bit further, you’ll see they’re still not convinced about who it is, for Peter says, rather timidly, Lord, if it is you…invite me to come to you on the water.

What is important here isn’t Peter’s response, but how Jesus responded to their fear. He did so Immediately…and then he told them something that should have settled their fears: …it is I. In the Greek, what Jesus uttered were the words, “I AM”…the name of Almighty God. And he did so immediately to help quell their fears.

So, why should a name have quelled their fears? Because this is the One who made the wind and the waves. He doesn’t bow to them…they bow to Him.

But even more meaningful is what Jesus does NOT do: he doesn’t change their circumstances. Why? Good question. He could have just spoken the word or thought the thought: “Be still!” and it would have happened. He did it before and it worked.

No, I think perhaps he didn’t change the circumstances because he didn’t want them to trust in the circumstances when they change, but in Him. He wanted them to learn to trust in I AM, not in the wind dying or the waves decreasing.

I don’t know about you, but when I am afraid, I want God to change my circumstances. Sometimes he does, sometimes not. What God wants me to do is to trust I AM.

PRAYER: Lord, when we are afraid we hope and pray for things to change rather than praying for more trust in You. Help us remember that I AM is the master of all and that what is really important is trusting you is and not in changing circumstances. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 7/27/16 – Jesus and the Law of Probabilities

DayBreaks for 7/27/16 – Jesus and the Laws of Probabilities

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

JESUS MORE LIKELY TO HAVE WALKED ON ICE THAN WATER

 “TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 4 (UPI via COMTEX) — Florida State University scientists say its more likely Jesus walked on a patch of floating ice than on water, as described in the New Testament.
“Oceanography Professor Doron Nof says his research points to a rare combination of optimal water and atmospheric conditions for development of a unique, localized freezing phenomenon that Nof and his co-authors call “springs ice.”

“In what is now northern Israel, such ice could have formed on the cold freshwater surface of the Sea of Galilee — known as Lake Kinneret by modern-day Israelis — when already chilly temperatures briefly plummeted during one of the two protracted cold periods between 2,500 and 1,500 years ago.
“A frozen patch floating on the surface of the small lake would have been difficult to distinguish from the unfrozen water surrounding it.
“As natural scientists, we simply explain that unique freezing processes probably happened in that region only a handful of times during the last 12,000 years,” Nof said. “We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account.”
“The research appears in the April issue of the Journal of Paleolimnology.”
 

Galen’s Thoughts: Whew.  Aren’t you glad that you now know how Jesus did it??!?!?!  And it’s all so official sounding with a title like “The Journal of Paleolimnology”, isn’t it?

You know, they’re right, actually, if you think about it in terms of probabilities.  It is more likely, given the laws of probability, to explain the miracle of Jesus “walking on water” by saying that there was ice just below the surface that the disciples couldn’t see.  They’re right – the probabilities of people walking on top of water are, well, zero.  

But what they have failed to take into account is that Jesus wasn’t just another foot traveler – he was God.  And with God, you can throw all the probabilities and statistics out of the window.  For science to try to explain the acts of God may be amusing, but it’s also often sad and pathetic.  I love science – and the job of real science it to discover the truth – not try to explain truth away.  

While it may be more probable, from human terms, for Jesus to have walked on ice.  He didn’t.  He walked on water. And he can make us walk on water with him if he so chooses!

PRAYER: God, I’m so glad that we have such a powerful Father to whom science can’t assign limits! I look forward to the day when the whole world knows without a shadow of a doubt that you can do anything you choose to do! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.