An abalone is a shellfish that sticks to rocks in coastal waters. It’s a gastropod, which means that its stomach is its foot—it walks on its stomach. And apart from its shell, an abalone is practically all stomach. It sticks to a rock and then lifts its shell about half an inch. As water sweeps past the portion of the stomach that is exposed between the shell and the rock, the abalone catches and consumes microscopic particles of vegetation that are in the water.
The abalone’s shell isn’t only its house, but also its armor. When threatened, the abalone can instantly clamp itself to the rock it’s on as tight as a vise. That big stomach can create tremendous suction. In a flash, that great big shell can adhere to the rock so tightly that it takes a crowbar to pry it off. So when people “stick like abalones,” they really stick.
Perhaps sticking like that is learned with time. The first waves of trouble usually throw me off for a moment as I see everything become topsy-turvy around me, things swirling in the surf, and my world turned upside down. But then I find my rock and cling to it, like everything depends on it. Such turbulent times used to be frightening, but I eventually learned that that’s just the way life is, and when I accepted that it’s the natural order of things, it became easier to navigate.
As the waves come and go, I better understand and know what to do. I know the waves and the rock, I know that I have a suction device that helps me stick, and I’ve learned that it gets easier the more I do it. Sticking has made my suction stronger. I’ve also learned to relax when the ocean is calm, but remain ready at a moment’s notice to hold on tight to the rock. I never want to repeat that awful feeling of being tossed and turned about in the ocean of woes. I’ve also learned to never stray far from the rock, because that is the one thing I can depend on.
My rock is Jesus. He and His Word are my strength and salvation in times of trouble. I’m just a simple, vulnerable creature, but I know who to turn to and hold on to. And believe it or not, I’ve actually come to love the tumultuous seas. After all, I stick like an abalone. The stronger the waves, the tighter I cling to my Rock.