Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

Troubled Waters

I sent the image to a friend. He’s working on some motivational speaking pieces and I thought it was a great topic. He told me I should blog about it and I chuckled and thought to myself that he was using some motivational, reverse psychology on me and I filed it away as a draft. I instead wrote Black Mothers Don’t Hug Their Daughters; but, then it started raining here and by day three, all I could think about was troubled waters.

I’m sure you’ve heard the hymn, ‘Wade in the Water, an old Negro spiritual that is attributed to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The lyrics tell runaway slaves to ‘wade in the water…God’s gonna trouble the water’. When we think about trouble, our minds are automatically taken to a bad place. But in this instance, going into the water allowed the slaves’ scent to be washed away so that hound dogs couldn’t trace them. The water was stirred up, or troubled, as a distraction for the dogs, so the slaves could continue on to freedom.

It makes perfect sense but there was something about the quote that nagged at me. Something about it spoke of something greater – supernatural even. I searched and found what I’d been looking for – John 5:4. This particular section of scripture describes a man being healed at a pool by Jesus. The specific verse says, ‘For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had.’ Some translations substitute stirred for troubled and others only add that particular verse as a footnote (check out the YouVersion Bible app and look for it under ESV and NIV). I sat there dumbfounded. Not at the supernatural healing power of God; I personally know what He can do. But at the idea that in some places this particular verse is just a foot note.

You see, when I think, really think about this quote, I get goosebumps. Sometimes, in order to be cleansed or freed from whatever bondage we’re in, we have to be stirred up. We have to be fired from a job, lose all of our money, end a relationship, or simply be moved out of our comfort zone. This stirring, or troubling, while it can be extremely scary, is actually what our souls need. These moments require us to stop and take stock of what’s been weighing us down and dirtying us up. As we come through the water those dirty parts are cleansed and healed – like the man at the pool.

Listen, I am not a theologian, nor do I consider myself a Bible scholar. But what I do know is that through my personal relationship through Jesus Christ, I have been through many troubled waters. At times, I certainly felt like I was drowning and hopeless. But when I look back on how I came out on the other side – what I let go of in that water – I am grateful for those experiences.

Until next time…

Hey! If you’re looking for another source of motivation and inspiration, check out

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