The meaning of the Canadian slang, Saltie, is … “an ocean-going sailor”. An ocean-going sailor becomes a saltie after being conditioned by seasons of the worst kind of weather at sea. A saltie is not someone who easily turns yellowy-green and empties his/her stomach contents during turbulent weather conditions whilst at sea.
On one occasion, as evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross the to the other side of the lake [Sea of Galilee]” (Mark 4:35). Scripture goes on to say … “But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water” (Mark 4:37). Let me pause to remind you that several of these disciples were seasoned ‘salties’ – the Sea of Galilee is where they had grown-up and had learned and practiced their profession as fishermen. The disciples were not land-lubbers (a person unfamiliar with the sea or seamanship). At this time, however, weather conditions at the sea became far threatening than they had ever experienced – so much so, they woke Jesus up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?” (Mark 4:38).
Can you relate to what was happening in the lives of the disciples? They had decided to follow Jesus – but they hadn’t fully understood what following Jesus would, at times, entail. Jesus knew that a storm was appointed for Galilee for that time. He knew this would test the ‘spiritual saltyness’ of His disciples. He knew this was an ideal situation that was needed to condition His land-lubber disciples into becoming spiritual salties so they could pass through the worst storm without turning yellowy-green. Jesus is in control of every storm His disciples pass through, no matter how fierce storms may appear to us. Scripture says, “When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, Quiet down!” (Mark 4:39a). The narrative continues … “Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a [great] calm” (Mark 4:39b). What was the lesson in this incident? Faith testing for faith development! Jesus said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in Me?” (v 40).
In the months I have been engaged in my work in Western Australia I have experienced a number of storms, fiercer than I had ever experienced. These storms have left me yellowy-green in my faith – my faith needed further development … enough that would enable me to stand steady and calm through any storm the Lord has determined for me to pass through.
Friends, the storms of life we are passing through (and will pass through in the future) are ordered by the Lord. They have been determined for us that we may not be filled with fear, but “filled with awe” (Mark 4:41). I want to become the seasoned saltie the Lord can make me. I want to become fit to pass through the worst storm in my life. I want to be filled with awe, not fear. I want people to observe my life, steady and calm, with the Lord sitting in my boat, in the fiercest storm of life.
I want them to sign-up with Him …“becoming seasoned salties”.