Faith, Freedom

God’s Gonna Trouble the Water


We are forever standing at the edge of our tomorrows. The view can be disconcerting at times, with troubled waters ahead, waters that we fear. Reverend Karla Miller prays an eloquent prayer for such times.


Dang it God.
That’s all.
No, wait, there is more.
Peel me open,
Make me listen,
Lead me into troubled waters,
Show me how to trouble some waters.
I’m not the most articulate or savvy or smart,
I care. I am afraid. I am not afraid. I am both/and.
I will not rest when others can’t.

Teach me.
Lead me.
I am ready.
My hands and feet and mind and heart are yours.

– Rev. Karla Miller, Published at

Sometimes, though, God is the one who troubles the waters, and we make our choice about going forward or remaining safely on the edge. I have always been moved by the spiritual songs of the slaves. Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water, ensuring that the dogs slavecatchers used to track them couldn’t sniff out their trail. “Wade in the Water” is one of their most inspiring freedom songs.

Wade in the water;
Wade in the water, Children.
Wade in the water;
God’s gonna trouble the water.

It can be a freedom song for us, too, every time we dare to step into waters that God has troubled. It is our faith, of course, that assures us that God troubles the waters before us, and that when we step into them, we take that step trusting in a God who wants only our good. May our prayer be “Lead me into troubled waters, God, and show me how to trouble some waters” so that the world might change, so that my life might change. Amen.


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