In 1992, a cargo ship left Hongkong destined for the US. En route a container full of 29,000 rubber bath toys (lots of yellow ducks!) spilled into the Pacific Ocean. Two-thirds of them happily went south, while 10,000 of them got caught in the Subpolar Gyre. The water current (red on the map) took the ducks in a circle around the ocean.
Here are two lesson we can learn from these little ducks.
1. They were Helpless
They where trapped in this current, it took approximately 3 years for the ducks to complete their first loop in the current. The water carried them along, hedged them in, allowing them no chance for escape.
2. They were not Hopeless
Despite being caught in this current, by 1996, ducks started to appear in Tacoma on the west coast of the US, then by 2000, ducks were appearing in the East side of the US, by 2007 this ducks arrived on the shores of the UK. They were bleached in colour, encrusted with barnacles, decomposition had set in... but they were FREE!
They found freedom where there was none.
How did they break out of the Subpolar Gyre?? THEY didn't. They needed help. Some of the ducks that washed ashore had teeth marks on them... Large fish had seen the army of ducks and attacked them, eventually spitting them out in disappointment... but they were spat to freedom! Ships would cut across the water current and bring ducks along in their slip stream. Wild storms would hammer the ducks out on the ocean and knock them out of the current.
The ducks were helpless by themselves, but not hopeless. With help from the outside, they could be free form the current.
The bible says our heart is very much like that. It is a prisoner to itself, it does not want to know the God that created it. It closes its eyes and stops it ears so that we never return to our God.
By ourselves we are helpless. But we are not hopeless. God is gracious and kind and loving. Like a storm he breaks into our lives to give us freedom... freedom to come back to him, freedom that we could never make for ourselves.
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