Creation begins with the spirit of God hovering over the deep. Water is in the beginning. “Let there be a vault between the waters (Genesis 1:6).” The deep is often referenced in ancient literature, the deep or the sea is a place of chaos and disorder, the abyss. This is where God steps into bringing order and life. Where God is, there is order.
The water is used throughout the Scriptures. The world is destroyed when the waters are allowed to come together and flood the earth. Moses parts the sea providing a ‘Way’ for the people to escape chaos, through the chaos of the sea (escaping Egypt). Water is provided for the people in the wilderness, it is purified through a tree (Exodus 15:25), and rivers signify life.
Now, when I think of Israel crossing the sea to escape Egypt, I connect the ‘Way’ Jesus has provided, through the waters of baptism. Jesus said He was the ‘Way’. God provided a ‘Way’ over and over again in the midst of chaos. Jesus became that ‘Way’ to escape the chaos and destruction of life. His example and His teachings show us a ‘Way’ to life. When Jesus told the woman at the well, “I have water you know not of.” Or “I can give you living water.” Or “I am the Way the truth and the life.” He is patterning and demonstrating a better way to live.
In my experience, when I lived for myself and did what I thought was clever, I failed and lived in pain. I hurt others. Gossip helps no one. Lying is destructive, it doesn’t give life. Pride leads to violence. Vengeance doesn’t end violence but propagates it. Snapping in anger does not solve a problem or end an argument, it only amplifies it. Bullies or only tiny tyrants forcing others to obey their will through fear and threat. It’s all cheap, worthless, and void. It is empty and will never be satisfied.
Life comes from self-sacrifice. It comes from trusting in the teachings of Jesus. Being faithful is consistently following the teachings and example of Jesus. Treating people with contempt and arrogance does not influence or bring life. It only destroys. Arrogance is shameful, it shames the very thing you are arrogant about. It shames and dishonors.
Peace is impossible without sacrifice and compromise. Children fight over petty disagreements. Growing up, I was told to be the bigger person. This means a willingness to rise above my basic instincts of ‘Flight’ or ‘Fight’. It is a calling to ascend, leaving behind the baser impulses of ignorance. Wisdom is slow to anger. Wisdom gives and cultivates life. Folly is man’s wisdom without God. It calls with immediate pleasure, but ends in death and emptiness.
The ‘Way’ is through Jesus’ teachings. It is a ‘Way’ through the chaos of life and pain. It gives meaning and purpose. We have been called to manage this world with God. We have been gifted with the grace and mercy to do so. In order to do it, we must trust in God and His wisdom, otherwise we will find ourselves sinking into the sea. The sea of chaos and death.
I am calling you to a higher purpose. I am blessing you with insight into life. I am directing you to the ‘Way’ so that you may be like a tree planted by the waters. A tree bearing fruit in all seasons. A place of life for your family and friends. This is what we are called out to be as Christians. The light in the darkness. The city on a hill. The seasoning that makes all things good.
May you be blessed and a blessing.