Faith In Open Water {Faith Life Preservers- Day 23}

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Waiting with hope is very difficult, 
but true patience is expressed 
when we must even wait for hope. 
I will have reached the point of greatest strength 
once I have learned to wait for hope. 
George Matheson
Many of you know I have the ever so tiniest obsession with a certain creature from the sea. If you are new to me and have not followed me long I will fill you in, friends. I am slightly shark obsessed. I have never outgrown my grade school inspired fascination with these creatures as well as most of the amazing and mysterious ocean. It inspires within me wonder, fear and awe. Amazement. Of course, knowing the One who created it is also both relief and more awesome, still. But I want to share with you some of my pondering today about faith, hope and the deep blue sea. Maybe there is some encouragement to be found in open water and even bad movies.
Since I am a shark fan (Of course I watch Shark Week!) and the classic movie Jaws, you can imagine that if a movie is released that is about sharks I have to see it! I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau after all and in my imagination I have swam with him on many adventures since early childhood. Sometimes television can be good, I suppose.
Shortly after I got married, a movie had been released called Open Water. Although my hubby and I did not go to the movie theater to see it (thankfully), I talked him into watching it with me one night. He does not share my shark enthusiasm but he graciously agreed.
To say that this movie upset me would be a monumental understatement. The movie infuriated me and at the end of it I stormed out of the living room (my poor hubs had suffered through the whole thing with me) and went into quite a rant about the ending of it. Let me give you some background (or click the link for more details as I don’t recommend seeing the movie, at least until you hear me out-and yes I am giving spoilers, so if you don’t want to know do not read on). The movie is about a couple who goes off on a scuba diving excursion among 18 others. It is a low budget film and feels very real and surreal at the same time. I want to say that what bothered me about this movie is not the filming, or the footage because that was frighteningly real and disturbing on it’s own. It is my understanding that the shark footage was authentic. No mechanical mayhem, as in Jaws. So on that note horribly accurate shark behavior and reality. (OK, that is actually disturbing as well) The story is the thing for me, so let’s get to it. We journey with the couple as they swim off from the others who have signed on for the trip to explore the deep blue sea. The mix ups that occur on the boat during the couple’s absence is filmed and we see that the tally of who is aboard the boat for the agreed upon departing time is inaccurate. The small boat leaves the couple out in open water and returns to port. When the couple finally surface from the deep, they see the boat off in the distance. They assume it will return and the next hours are spent waiting. Add nausea here. We spend the night with them as they are stung by jelly fish, nibbled on by sharks, surrounded by darkness and consumed by fear. They try to keep one another’s hopes up but in the end…this is the clincher. In the end, both are consumed by sharks in a feeding frenzy that starts with the man and ends when (enter rant here) the woman seeing all hope gone removes her gear and sinks into the sea of sharks. 
Enter hopelessness. I have never been more upset with a movie. It angered me because of the utter hopelessness it portrayed. The absence of God. The darkness and void of a seemingly meaninglessness existence and situation. The too late response of the crew recognizing those left behind. The earnest search in morning light. Hopelessness. 
The final scene only fueled my anger more:
 “After Susan slips below the water’s surface, the film scene flashes elsewhere, revealing a fishing crew cutting open a newly-caught shark’s abdomen and stomach, and finding a waterproof diving camera, ostensibly that of Daniel and Susan. One of the fishermen asks off-handedly to another, “Wonder if it works?” (Source: Wikpedia)
See it bothered me because I know that even if…
He is God. 
He is good. 
He exists. 
He is not void.
We are not without hope.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution 
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, 
neither angels nor demons, 
neither the present nor the future,
 nor any powers,  neither height nor depth,
 nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us 
from the love of God
 that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 35, 38

My paraphrase: 
No bad movie, or frenzied, 
flesh consuming shark 
can consume my soul.
Christ owns me.
I am in the palm of His hand
wherever I am. 
Like Jonah in the Whale’s belly or
 Job surrounded by foolish friends. 
His love never lets me go.
His love will never let you go.
Always hope.
In Him.
One more thing: Beware of Bad movies. 
But, even a bad movie can be a reminder of God’s goodness!
God is Sovereign.

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:8-10


I have included the official movie trailer clip
and have to confess I still feel sick when I watch EVEN this much.
So use discretion if you watch.
Not for the fainthearted. 

31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012
See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.

Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE!

Linking with these lovely communities:

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Absolute Truth, Sin and Jaws {Faith Life Preservers- Day 11}

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How is that absolute truth, sin and the epic blockbuster Jaws have anything in common?
Well fortunately for you I pondered that exact combination today, hence the post.

You see, in the open waters of the sea of life there are a lot of dangers.
When it comes to defining sin and absolute 
truth we need to be clear about what we believe.
You need to be clear about truth, my friend.
The culture we live in demands it.
If not you will find yourself in shark infested waters,
chomped on and unable to survive, spiritually speaking,
in a vast sea where sin and truth swim together.
One will cause you to sink, the other will  hold you up. 
I assure you there is no in between.
Sink or swim.
I love sharks. They are fascinating creatures. 
But they are also menacing creatures.
When you look into a sharks eyes, there is blackness.
A soulless darkness that wreaks of death.
In the movie Jaws, the shark is portrayed as a fearless eating machine.
I can’t help but think that the shark in the movie reminds me of sin.
Sin brings death.
Sin seeks to consume.
I see in the three main characters different ways of dealing with sin, unsuccessfully.
Each reflect different faces of the ultimate sin which entangles: pride.
Captain Quint thinks he can outwit the shark because he is a master of the sea,
a relentless Captain who is experienced, brave and relies on his strong arm of flesh. 
Hooper believes his worldly wisdom and knowledge will lead to the catching of the Rogue shark. 
He thinks his understanding of the shark
will be they key to dealing with it. 
Brody just wants everyone to be happy. 
His continual compromise and passivity due to his desire to please everyone, 
ultimately leads to tragedy for everyone.
See sin is not outwitted by the schemes of man.
It cannot be explained away or excused.
Sin does not compromise.
It always leads to death.
Absolute truth always leads to light, peace and safety.
It does not bow to men.
It is never watered down or conformed to man’s desires.
It always leads to life.
Sin is like a shark, absolute truth is like a lighthouse.
Absolute Truth has served as a
Life Preserver in my life. 
There is only one way to deal with sin once it is identified 
by absolute truth, friends.
Sin cannot be tamed, compromised, re-named or cajoled.
It doesn’t need a bigger boat.

Sin needs to blown clear out of the water
of your life.

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And that my friends is the absolute truth.


Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, 
but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; 
and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 
For sin shall no longer be your master, 
because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:12-14


* You know I could not resist a shark post during these days, right?

31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012
See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.
Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE.
Linking with Intentional Me for Thought Provoking Thursday

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