Clinging to rags and carried by the current

What are you clinging to? Are you being carried away by the currents of the day?

This summer I spent some time on the Gulf coast. One of my favorite activities is exploring in the shallow waters: looking for unique shells, shark teeth, as well as stingrays and crabs as they swim by. This day, I grabbed my little net, and walked in the shallows about 1/4 of a mile, and noticed something floating in the water. It was not on the top of the waves, nor was it on the seabed floor. Instead, it floated right in the middle of the water, drifting with the current. I headed out a little deeper to get a better look. It was dark, and appeared to be a piece of clothing. I scooped it up and headed to the shore.

As I was about to dump out the now visible bikini top onto the beach, I saw that something else was in the net attached to the swimsuit top. This must be why it was a bit heavier than expected. Upon further inspection, it was a small octopus! Oh my goodness I had caught a young octopus!! I managed to get it off of the bikini top, and back into the small net. It was curling around, wrapping its arms around the edges of the net trying to pull itself out. I quickly began to head back down the beach towards my family to show this latest prized catch. Along the way, people began to gather and soon stopped me, asking what it was, then taking pictures. After showing it off to my family and friends, this young octopus needed to get back into the water. I walked out chest-deep into the ocean, and released it. It was no longer clinging to a raggedy lost piece of humanity.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
1 John 2:15

Thinking about the reasons this creature had attached itself to the floating cloth and was just being carried around by the current made me wonder if we do this in life too. Yes, I believe we often do. It can be easier when things get difficult or we are just worn out to grab ahold of something or someone that can carry us through. Sometimes we don’t want to deal with issues, or put our trust in something that absolutely cannot do a thing for us. The problem is, when we depend on other things or put our hope and trust in objects to support us and fulfill a need, then we are not leaning on God our Father. When we cling to things of this world, we get tossed around by the currents of the day. Who knows where the world’s waters will take us!

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”
James 1:6

When we do this, we are not walking the path that God has for us. We are not anchored by who we believe in, and are not living a life that proves our faith in Jesus is a reality in our lives. In not being anchored in the Lord, we are helplessly swept away by the cares of the day, showing how weak we actually are.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 43:5

I propose that we as believers in Jesus put aside those things of this world that we cling to, that we depend and count on; which we allow to carry us and our emotions wherever the currents of the day takes us. Things like political views, the news, our money, job status, bad eating habits, and pride of our supposedly being on the right side of the topic, can individually or collectively weigh us down, which allows the evil one an opportunity to sway our thoughts which ever way he desires. This causes confusion and instability emotionally. He blows his winds of hate across our path, causing us to get carried away.

What we need to remember is that we have an anchor in Jesus our Savior!
He remains the truth and our hope, and does not change. He lights the way through His Word, and gives us the Holy Spirit who convicts, encourages and guides us throughout our life’s walk.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:2

In conclusion, from me to you:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Romans 15:13

Food for thought: The world’s view relates to things that are not of God, that deny or oppose His holiness. Anything not of God is of this world. This is where we as Jesus followers need to be careful that we do not attach ourselves to the thoughts, the ways or the hopes of things of man.
What are you clinging to? Are you being carried by the current of the day as our octopus friend was, or are you grounded and anchored by who Jesus is and His work in your life?

Fun facts: Octopus have eight arms, not tentacles. They also have 3 hearts, blue blood, and no skeleton.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Octopus from the shallows

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