Every summer my husband & I spend time at the beach with our kids. We spend many hours watching the kids build sandcastles, skim board & body surf the waves.
My favorite “activity” is sitting in a beach chair at the edge of the surf watching the waves roll in. I love the sound of the waves breaking & the feel of the sand as it shifts beneath my feet when the tide ebbs back into the ocean. I’m at peace and all is well.
But there are times when my kids & husband beckon me to join them out among the breaking waves. When they do I slowly make my way out through the surf. With each step I take, the water is deeper and the waves break a little harder. I brace myself and turn my head to keep the wave from splashing in my face. Before long I begin to jump over each wave, treading water as I ride the wave out. (I’m not a very tall person & my vertical is certainly not basketball worthy) so there are times I don’t jump quite high enough and I find myself overtaken by the wave. Once I’m overtaken by one wave I have a hard time regaining my footing and wave after wave breaks over my head. Once I recover from the flailing I’m ready to make my way in to the safety of the surf where the waves aren’t crashing over me and I can rest comfortably.
This past week I was reminded of this scene as life and issues began to overtake me just as the waves in the ocean sometimes do. I could feel the waves of issues begin to batter me around and knew I didn’t have much more strength to jump high enough to ride them out. In that moment all I wanted to do was turn around and run back to shore. The only problem was there was no shore to run back to. I was caught in the raging ocean of life flailing under the waves breaking over me.
And in that moment God reached His hand down to me and pulled me up over the waves. His hand…it wasn’t a physical hand… it was the Word of God. As I flailed and gasped for breath under the stress and strain of life I clung tightly to His Word and in it He reminded me that He was right there with me like Jesus was with Peter when Peter began sinking in the water.
In Matthew 14:22-34 Jesus walks out on water to the disciples who were on a boat in the middle of the water. The disciples were afraid because they new it wasn’t possible for someone to walk on water so in their mind it had to be a ghost. Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter responded with, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” and Jesus said, “Come”. So Peter stepped out of the boat and walked out to Jesus.
But it wasn’t long before Peter was distracted and began paying attention to the wind & waves. When he took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink & the waves began to break around him. Then Peter looked up at Jesus and cried out, “Lord, save me”.
(Oh boy do I love this next part!!) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt.”
Peter became distracted by the waves and wind around him and when he took his eyes off Jesus, what happened? He began to sink. But Jesus in His loving, protecting way reached down, caught him and pulled Peter out of the water.
Oh how I love that!! This week as life and issues began to overtake me I became distracted by the wave after wave of stress to the point I felt as if I was drowning in the waves. But I remembered where my focus needed to be so I opened God’s Word and spent time in prayer crying out for the Lord to save me from the waves.
I would be lying if I told you the waves stopped coming but what I will tell you is that although life is still hard, I am holding tight to God’s hand and His Word. And as my focus is on Him he is holding me above the waves.
So my sweet friends, are the waves of life tossing you around? Have you lost the strength to jump over the waves? Take time today to cry out to God and reach for His hand. Spend time in His Word and focus on Him and He will give you the strength to stand up to the waves.
In His Calm,
I wanted to share a verse with you God gave me this week.