This is no Lake Michigan! I breathed as I pulled up to my timeshare on the Atlantic Ocean at midnight this past week. I’d grown used to the calmness of the lake, but this was alive—wild and churning.
That first night was eerie—thirty-five plus miles per hour winds howled under my door as if someone wanted in. Morning wasn’t any different. As soon as I opened my eyes, I threw open the sliding glass door to study the ocean, desperately wanting to go in.
But I wasn’t stupid. Red flags flew, indicating the ocean was not safe. No lifeguards manned their posts; no humans dotted the ocean. The beach seemed a ghost town, with meringue-like tufts of ocean foam blowing about like tumbleweed. Signs posted along the beach warned of rip currents, and while there was no mention of it, I knew sharks hunted those waters.
Other than one evening when I spotted a couple swimmers and quickly pulled on my suit and joined them in a wonderful salty thrashing, I safely enjoyed the ocean from its edge. I wonder-walked along it each day, biked through its surf, and slept with the sliding glass door open so I could fall asleep to its steady pounding.
Then at SeaWorld that Saturday, I learned something surprising. Only five humans die worldwide each year from sharks. Why was I so cautious then? And . . . do I take my everyday enemies as seriously as I took the potential danger of riptides and sharks?
Over the next few weeks here on the blog, I’d like to study our enemies together. More than that, I’d like to talk with you about how we can not only avoid them but overcome them.
Let’s start with this. As a follower of Jesus, do you know who your enemies are? Do you have a healthy fear of them as I had of the ocean? Beyond that, do you know what your “life jacket,” “rescue boat,” and “lifeguard” are? Do you know how to stand strong against your enemies? I’d love to hear from you.