The aquarium at Orlando’s Sea World is like many other famous aquariums.
The Narrow Path
It features exotic creatures of the sea and allows spectators to get a close up view of sharks, rays, stinging jellyfish, and eels – with nothing but a four to six-inch-thick shield of Plexiglas between visitors and certain death.
But this aquarium allows extreme close-ups. This Sea World features an acrylic tunnel, sixty-feet long and made of 5,000-pound acrylic panels that can each hold back 500 tons of water. The huge acrylic tunnel allows people to walk directly through a huge tank filled with an assortment of hammerhead, mako, and tiger sharks as well as barracuda and venomous fish.
Danger – above, below, and on both sides – surround visitors in the acrylic tunnel. Yet they are perfectly safe. The transparent barrier is impenetrable. Neither the man-eaters nor the hundreds of tons of crushing water can hurt those in the tunnel.
The Table in the Valley
And many times we sense that we are most definitely surrounded by danger. In the military we’re uprooted from home, dragged halfway around the world, and faced with frightening challenges. If we’re a freedom-loving person, we hear the relentless threats of terrorism. But even when surrounded by danger, if we trust in God, his presence, faithfulness and love serve as an impenetrable barrier through which no evil can pass.
God will take care of us. In one of the most beloved of all Psalms, David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You make bountiful provision for me, even in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:4-5)
When I am frightened, O Lord, remind me that you are a shield all around me (Psalm 3:3) and my refuge and fortress against all of life’s dangers (Psalm 46:1). Amen.