Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Peace and Joy Among Sharks

 



Peace and Joy Among Sharks


Recently, I found myself swimming in shark-infested waters. For real! My family and I were on a cruise and had chosen to snorkel with sharks in the ocean, off the coast of a Bahamian island. This was not a shark rescue and there were no cages. Are we crazy? Maybe! But it was one of our best memories with the four of us! 


We took a 30-minute boat ride from shore to an area of the ocean in which we were told these two breeds of sharks liked to hang out. During this time, the crew distributed masks, flippers, and life jackets. Some people on the boat were very nervous. This may have been increased by the waivers we’d signed on shore. However, we were assured that the sharks were not interested in us (unless we made a lot of small splashes, they might come directly to us…so try not to do that). We were told we could get in the water, put our masked faces down in the water, and enjoy watching some sharks swim around us. (Look, but don’t touch.)


This was both of my sons’ first time snorkeling, so once in the water, they had to get used to the breathing process. Then, they were settled, so I put my face down and HELLO! There were at least twenty or thirty sharks right there swimming just out of the range of my flippers. That was a bit of a shocking, but exhilarating moment! I was comfortable hanging on to the rope that went from a buoy to the boat so I didn’t lose track of where I was while I was gawking at these powerful, intimidating creatures! 


My boys, thankfully, stayed close to their mama. We were at first holding on to that rope, but then we started to swim around together, holding on to each other. It would have been easy to lose them in the sea of flippers and masks, so I was glad that they were staying close to me. My husband was close by too, taking pictures (such as the photo above) and videos of this experience through his water-sealed case. 


With all the sharks surrounding me, I probably should have been a little scared, but I was just loving the fact that I was in the ocean holding my boys’ hands. My heart was so full of joy and contentment for this memory we were making together. What a blast!


After we were all safely back in the boat, the crew started feeding the sharks and creating splashing to put them in a “feeding frenzy”. THIS looked terrifying! All those shark fins coming to the surface and swirling around by our boat! It made us think, “Wait, we were swimming with these guys??!? What were we thinking??” Later, we looked at my husband’s videos, and sharing them with our family when we got home was similar. It looked terrifying! People thought we had been out of our minds to get in that water. But while we were in the water, it was totally fine. 


I found myself thinking about this experience a lot later. Life feels like I’m surrounded by sharks a lot. I am so often worried, frantic, nervous, unsure, or fearful. Life throws a lot at us all the time. But because I know God is in control of ALL things all the time, I can feel peace and joy no matter what is going on in the world. Anytime something is going on that “should’ make me feel overwhelmed, scared, or worried, I can release it to my Father, and know that He’s got it. 


It’s not an easy thing to release those feelings of fear or stress, but it’s possible! I am working on getting better at it, asking for His help, and bringing those feelings to him as often as I remember to do so. Swimming that day felt pretty safe overall. I did not feel like I was in any real danger. Every day does not always feel that way. Some situations in life can be so painful and difficult. But God is in control of it all. I can still use that joyful day as a happy reminder that it is possible to have peace and joy, even among sharks. 





Peace and Joy Among Sharks

  Peace and Joy Among Sharks Recently, I found myself swimming in shark-infested waters. For real! My family and I were on a cruise and had ...