Panama City Beach, sunshine, ocean waves ... we took some time for us. Family. Playing in the clear water. Sandcastles. Seashells. Splashing. Toes in the sand.
Jerry's brother-in-law generously gave us a week long vacation on the ocean front.Each morning, we watched the sunrise from our 14th floor balcony. At that height, you can see all the sea life in their daily routine. Dancing in the morning sunshine. Stingrays. Jellyfish. Sharks. It was amazing to watch God's creation ... in action.
On one morning, Jerry and I watched through binoculars as a man fished in the not-yet-busy ocean. There had been several sharks the prior morning. We knew he was trying his hand at catching one. Sure enough, he did. After removing the small specimen from his hook, the fisherman walked casually from the shoreline and showed off his catch. All the while, this fish was flopping, tossing, turning ... anything to escape its captor. After several minutes of laughter and joy from the few spectators out in the early morning, he tossed it back into the surf.
Jerry immediately said, he kept it out too long. Later that morning, I understood his statement.
The shark floated ... dead ... in the calm waters where the man had tossed it.
Our sons enjoyed the 'close up' look at a 'real' shark. Our youngest held it from the tail and stroked the rubbery skin. It truly was a beautiful creature.
As I snapped this picture ... I found myself comparing Christians to that shark. Humans are amazing creations. When rescued by salvation, we begin a life with God. Our walk with Him could be compared to the shark's life in the ocean. It's incredible how God provides the exact environment sharks need in order to survive. He does that for us. Naturally, the ocean has predators that might bring harm to the shark. But, it's all within the natural process created by God. Our walk in salvation might bring us into difficult situations, pain even. Again, each are within the care of our Father.
But ... what happens if we are pulled from that environment? From the safety of God's perfect place where all our needs are met and our life is sustained in His grace?
The world does that to us ... to Christians. It hooks us ... with sin. It pulls us out of the God given environment and if we don't 'see it for what it is (sin), than we are in danger of death. The eternal death ... separation from Christ.
While it was amazing to view that small shark from a close vantage, it was also sad. Sad to see how quickly the careless fisherman's choice had taken the life of a magnificent creature. I was reminded of my need of forgiveness, a closer walk with Christ and the constant submersion in an environment created just for me by my Father.
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."