Deep Sea Diving Terrors: The Heart of the Matter, Part 20 (Praising)

Diving boats

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4-5 NIV)

While on our trip in New Zealand, we had planned on having a diving experience like nothing we had ever experienced before. We carefully chose the best diving boat, the best diving instructor, and the best diving location.

Being new to the sport, we received plenty of basic survival instruction. Unfortunately, we weren't instructed about the dive itself … After being fitted with numerous devices that literally turned us into waddling ducks, my wife and I both made our way to the diving platform. It was here that the weights around my waist began to slowly shift in the direction of the boat's deck. It seems I have no waist. Only a pot belly!

Our instructor initially wished to try and train both of us at the same time, but for some reason, after just five minutes in the water, he gave up and worked with us one at a time.

My wife let the instructor propel and guide her, but her tendency to float to the surface put more than one snare in her instructor's instructions. He looked a bit pale when he came back for me.

Because I was wearing duck-like fins on my feet, I figured I needed to use them. And I did. Constantly. As it turned out, I propelled my instructor, who was quite occupied with the task of keeping me under water, on a wild goose chase. Once back on the boat, with my weights now comfortably settling around my knees, all he could say was, "What a ride!"

It's then that I realized that we had no idea how to actually enjoy the dive. Other than the fact that we were to breathe regularly and try to follow our instructor's hand gestures, we had no idea what was expected of us once we were under the water. Is this why our instructor was completely beat by the end of the day?

And to make matters worse, all those beautiful fish we had anticipated seeing had been totally absent … As the end of the day rolled around, we weren't exactly rejoicing. Both my wife and I were in agreement: Snorkelling was far more fun than diving! But then, how could we rejoice, when we hadn't really enjoyed our experience?

In retrospect, we had it all wrong. I had expected a dive, but instead I experienced a flipper marathon, while those slippery weights just kept making their way south! I hope ducks don't ever experience anything like this! My wife's expectation was different. She had anticipated admiring the many beautiful fish. Instead, her experience was a constant elevator-going-up kind of ride. We can see the humour in it now. Perhaps had we seen it then, we would have had more fun!

The problem is that most of us run around with wrong expectations. We are not on this planet to check off to-do lists, nor are we here to continually ask "What's in it for me?" We are here for one purpose only: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31 NIV). With such an attitude we could rejoice continually in whatever we are experiencing, even if we are facing tremulous trials!

This is why the Bible constantly encourages us to rejoice and experience pure joy, no matter what the circumstances. Take these texts, for example:

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Rom 5:3 NIV)

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:2-3 NIV)

The reasons we can experience utter joy in the midst of our trials is because the One we adore so much left us a brilliant example. He, too, experienced humongous adversity. Being nailed on a cross is far from enjoyable. Still Jesus endured that experience because He knew the joy that would be a result of his choice. He knew that because of His sacrifice, many would come to know our Father in heaven.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2 NIV)

This is why the apostle Paul could exclaim: "In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." (2 Cor 7:4 NIV)

I need an attitude adjustment. Joy surrounds me even amidst adversity. I am here for a purpose. Even when weights entangle my feet, making it impossible for me to flip my flippers, there are still numerous reasons to rejoice and enjoy the experience. It is my act of worship.

Euh… where did my flippers go?

Rob Chaffart

Receive our free newsletters

The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available. 


The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.

Visit Answers2Prayer

Subscribe Here:
The Illustrator
The Nugget

Your email:

Please be aware that you will receive a confirmation message via email. Once you receive it, please click on the link mentioned in the email. If you have problems please email us.