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Amity Island in the Summer of ’75

050707_jaws_02In the summer of 1975, the movie Jaws was released and to this day, some forty years later, that movie is still in the minds of many Americans. This movie is a classic motion picture in the thriller genre. Who can forget the movie trailer showing the shark’s jaws coming toward you out of the water or the movie theme suspense music composed by John Williams? That simple alternating pattern of two notes has become synonymous with impending danger. Click here to listen. For the summer of ‘75, many beachgoers stayed out of the ocean, choosing instead to just wade in only ankle deep.

You know the story line. A young woman is killed by a man-eating great white shark while skinny-dipping near the fictional resort town of Amity Island, located somewhere in New England. Police chief Martin Brody (played by Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches but the town’s mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the city. What follows for the remainder of the movie is an epic battle between man vs. beast as oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) and ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) help the police chief track down and eventually kill the shark.

Sharks can be dangerous and deadly. Just the sight of dorsal fins instills fear in our hearts. Often in the battle between human versus shark, the shark wins. This summer a 16-foot 3,500 pound great white shark named Mary Lee is being tracked in the Atlantic Ocean by the nonprofit and research group OCEARCH, with the latest ping coming just a few days ago in the waters off the southern tip of the Delmarva peninsula. Anyone interested in scuba diving near Virginia Beach?

shark-815x450Even with the knowledge that sharks are dangerous and often deadly, shark biologists make a career out of studying and interacting with sharks, and not just from afar, but usually up close and in person. These biologists don scuba gear and swim along side less threatening sharks while for the most dangerous of sharks they often are inside a shark proof metal cage. This cage is lowered into the water and is made of extremely strong metal, so as to not allow sharks to penetrate the cage, and the cages are built to withstand being rammed at high velocities by angry sharks.

What gives these shark biologists assurance that they are safe in the underwater cage with deadly shark swimming only inches from them? They have tested out the cages and they know the strength of the cage. We can say a cage not tested is a cage not trusted whereas a cage tested is a cage trusted.

Life can at times be challenging and frightening. We often need a “life-proof” cage to keep us safe. While the shark proof cages at times fail, we have a God who never fails and never lets us down. We have a God who keeps His promises; a God who can always be trusted. Hebrews 10:23 says this, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (NLT).” God is ever-faithful, and regardless of the size of, or how many, sharks are swirling around you right now, you can rest assured that you are safe in the Arms of your Father. And this hope that you can have in God is not fleeting. A few chapters earlier in Hebrews we read this in 6:19, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for your souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary (NLT).”

So today, ask God for an increasing faith in Him. And not just faith for when Mary Lee or Jaws are swimming near you, but a faith that is ever-present, regardless of life circumstances. Just as with those shark proof cages… A faith not tested is a faith not trusted. And with God, a faith tested is a faith trusted.

Dave Garrett


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