Boiling the Ocean
December 19, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
…I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. - Matthew 17:20 NKJV.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. - John 3:16 NKJV.
While I was waiting for a haircut today, I read some magazines, and learned a new phrase or saying that I had not heard before: “Boiling the Ocean.” The Urban Dictionary defines “boiling the ocean” as: “To attempt something that is way too ambitious, effectively impossible. An idea too broad in scope to accomplish.” They also had this to say about usage of the phrase: “Jargon often used by self-important corporate middle managers prone to bloating their speech with meaningless and unnecessary buzz-words.” An example of someone using this phrase according to the Urban Dictionary is, “Herb, buddy, you're really ‘boiling the ocean’ on this one. We can't manufacture and nationally distribute fifteen-thousand widgets in ten minutes.”
In these days of the 21st Century, more and more things appear to me to be like trying to “boil the ocean.” If I had known that phrase this morning when I was attempting to move an old sleeper sofa out of the house, I would have said that would be like trying to “boil the ocean.” Jeanie has wanted to do this for two years, and today was the day she wanted to “boil the ocean.” Really, things do appear far more difficult than they did a few years ago having so many technological advances in such a short period of time. Synching your phone with your car…I’m not sure I can do that. My new phone should be synched now, but it still doesn’t work right. Some houses are so technologically advanced that you probably have to synch your phone with your house. For me that would be like trying to “boil the ocean!”
Even though things may appear difficult, with God it may be as easy as telling a mountain to move from here to there (Matthew 17:20). If you look back through the pages of the Bible, you will find that there was a lot of ocean boiling going on. Noah built the ark to save mankind and every animal species. Abraham left his home only knowing God wanted him to leave, not knowing where he was going. Moses and the Israelites walked across the Red Sea on dry ground, while the Egyptians were pursuing them. Water coming out of rocks, and the walls of Jericho falling down after the people walked around it several times and they all shouted. Caleb conquered a mountain full of giants when he was 80-years-old. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego made it through the fiery furnace, and Daniel survived a night sleeping with the lions in their den. David killed Goliath, the giant, with a slingshot. Peter walked on water and Paul survived being stoned almost to death, being drug outside of Lystra and left for dead; but he rose again after they had a prayer meeting and went back into the city (Acts 14:19-20).
The greatest of all ocean boiling moments occurred when God in His audacity came down from the glories of Heaven to be born as a tiny baby into a lowly carpenter’s family. What ocean boiling that was, to think that a tiny baby could become the Savior of all who would seek Him. But that’s what God did because “God so loved the world….” So the next time someone tells you that you need to stop trying to boil the ocean, tell them that sometimes even greater things happen. And that is what Christmas is all about; a Savior was born because our courageous God loved you and me. Let us follow His example, attempt those great things for God, because sometimes mountains do move.