“WISDOM OF LIVING (24) DEEP WATER” By Pastor YAU
Psalm 69:13-20; 27:5; 9:9.
INTRODUCTION: Sport utility vehicles makers want consumers to believe that their SUVs are invincible in all seasons and terrains, all powerful for anything and anywhere. We see SUV commercials where they roll on mountain crags or in swamps with water as high as their headlights and still rolling. One day I saw a similar ad on a local paper showing a SUV almost swimming through high waters. At the bottom of the ad, there was a disclaimer reads: “Traversing in deep water may cause damage to the vehicle that may void the warranty.”
We all know that deep water is a problem not only for cars but also for people, you and me. As we travel on highways of life, sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by deep waters and crashing waves. We also know that it doesn’t take the power of a tsunami to sweep us off ground into oceans of grief and pain. Many smaller deep waters plotting on our paths of life may catch us off guard and cause us lots of harm.
In the life of King David, he was surrounded by deep waters more than once. In many of the psalms he wrote, he lamented on the despair and helplessness when he was overwhelmed by deep waters. Certainly he was not the only one who went through deep waters. Many of us have similar experience which may serve as warning signs for others to stay away from deep waters or as survival kits to those who are struggling to get out.
WHAT IS DEEP WATER ? King David used the expression of deep water, mostly in the Psalms, to represent many things and situations in his personal life. Some of them are common in our life experience.
1) Deep waters may represent sudden tragic: Tragedy is not a modern day invention. They come in many ways and forms often times without any warning. Oftentimes they caught us off guard at the most unexpected moment. Someone may be diagnosed with cancer without any sign or prior symptoms. A traffic accident may take the life of our loved one in a snap. A wife may come home to read a note from her husband that he has just moved out for good. A faithful employee arriving to work may be notified that he has been layoff. The list of tragic events that could happen goes on and on.
2) Deep waters may represent human betrayal: Most of David’s cry for help were caused by human enemies, people who wanted to see him fall: a jealous king who wanted his life, a son who wanted his throne and countless others who just wanted to see him suffer. People who claimed to be his friends were in fact secret agents plotting evil schemes. Others who ate on the same table tried to stab him in his back. Those whom he trusted the most turned out to be his traitors. Human mistrust, betrayal and broken dreams in relationship are some of the most heartbreaking and devastating experiences in which we feel like the bottom of our lives is falling.
3) Deep waters may represent everyday trouble: Things like evil of the world, crimes and victims of crimes, wars and military conflicts and destructions resulted from them, natural disasters and their destructive powers, failures of people that cause losses, pain and suffering on others and traps and snares we find ourselves got caught in because of our own foolishness, careless and arrogance. Some deep waters just come on us which we have no control. Other times we are part of the problems that caught on us.
HOW DO WE GET SURROUNDED BY DEEP WATERS? No one knows all the causes of deep waters, but some common denominators may shade some light for us. Knowing them may help to prevent us from some of the pain and faint or help to keep us from falling into.
1) This is a world full of evil: Some may believe that through education, social justice, creating more wealth or better distribution of it plus equal access to schools, jobs and opportunities will make changes and improve conditions that someday this planet earth may become a paradise. While all of these are good wishes and some of those who work hard to make it true are good people with innocent purpose, this world is full of evil from day one and it only gets worse everyday, every year and every generation. We see all the facts of evil with our own eyes. There are evil acts and evil thoughts and intentions. The Bible proclaims that this world of evil will come to an end when our Lord Jesus returns to judge the evil doers and to receive the faithful into His glory. The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse on what future will hold. Don’t be so naïve.
2) We under estimate the danger of deep waters: Most people are not naïve enough to see only the beauty and the innocence of the world and its people. We all know well the evil side of them. But many of us are too confident on our little wisdom and experience to think that we won’t fall into deep waters like others in the past. We think we are careful enough to see the traps and we will make good decisions and judgments to reap the good and to avoid the evil. But most of us are so wrong if we believe ourselves so much. First of all, we are not as smart as we think. Second we can’t see through the hearts of others. Three, we just don’t have the power to control anyone or anything. Thinking that everything is under your control is the worse mindset that may get you right into deep waters. Don’t be so proud.
The path to
deep water is slippery: Few people
get themselves into deep waters over night. In most cases, it is a slow
process. We begin with an innocent intent and a step in good will but it is on
the wrong direction. Either you intentionally ignore the warning signs on the
way or you enjoy the fun of your new adventure so much, you step deeper and
deeper each step until one day you are too deep to pull yourself out.
HOW DO WE STAY AWAY FROM DEEP WATERS? Deep waters are everywhere and more are being formed everyday. Different people have different kinds of deep waters to watch out for. The following are some of the tested and proven steps we all may take to either keep us from falling into or help us getting out of if we are already in.
1) Steps of prevention: Even though Jesus promised to be with us before He went to haven, some of us just want to travel on the paths of life by ourselves. We just don’t want Him to look over our shoulders all the time. Others may be more selective on when and where they need Jesus or not. This is a dangerous step that may lead us into deep waters before we know it. Hold on to the Lord and His teachings in the Bible. Be diligent in worship and Bible study to refresh insights and understand to keep you from straying away into deep waters. The Bible is the best warning sign on the highway of life. It will point you to the right direction. Paul also advised Timothy to seek counsel of wise and mature spiritual brothers. They may see things you can’t see.
2) Steps of salvation: These are steps of deliverance when you are already in the deep water. In the Scriptural reference today, we see David cried out to God for help and salvation when he was already in deep waters. He said, “God is my refuge in time of trouble.” (Ps. 9:9) And in time of trouble, “He will set my feet on the rock.” (Ps. 27:5) Unlike the disclaimer of SUV makers, the guarantee God sets in the Bible will never void nor expired. He is always there when we need Him.
3) Steps of restoration: Anytime anyone falls into deep water, there is hurt to the person, others around him/her and God. To restore the loss and heal the wounds, steps need to be taken to recover.
a) Restore with God: As the prodigal son repented his sins, he admitted that he has sinned against God. Asking for forgiveness from God is the first step to restore your relationship with Him.
b) Restore with people: The prodigal son also confessed that he had not just sinned against God but he had sinned against his father. Every time we fall, we hurt people around us and we need to ask forgiveness from them to restore our relationship with them.
c) Restore with yourself: You need to make a commitment to prevent same thing from happening again. Rebuild your confidence up and be strong in handling your life in the future. Never lick old wounds. It only reopens them and relives the pain of former failures.
CONCLUSION: To be swept away by a tsunami may happen once in a life time, but to fall into deep waters may happen to you everyday.
Are you on the slippery path of falling into deep waters now? Seek help from God and godly people. You don’t have to fall all the way.
Are you already in deep waters and don’t have the strength to get out? God promises you His strength is sufficient for you. Cry out to Him and He will deliver you to high ground.
Have you hurt someone close to you because of your falling into deep waters? Ask for forgiveness and restore the broken relationship. God will help you and others around you to heal the wounds.