When Waves Hit Hard…

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.”

Lamentations 3:21-22

I spent some time on the beach in South Florida a few springs ago. As I stood in the middle of the crashing waves on a windy day, I was all-consumed with a mixture of sensations. Force, power, stinging salt up my nose while pelting my skin and eyes. My two feet were swept off the bottom of the sandy floor in random sequence–first by the wave on top, then by the one in the under-current.

In the beginning of my venture out into the big time, I was strong—it seemed manageable. Ten minutes later, I could hardly breathe, open my eyes, and my whole body was weak, numb and shaking. I wished I had something to float on and pull me into the shore. (I also wished I were in better physical shape—how do those surfers do it?)

Now that I reflect back at this, I can’t help but relate it to a three-year season of loss, pain and trials in my own life. When I entered the struggling season, I didn’t even know I was in the middle of an ocean that would push me around with pounding force for a great while to come. I started out strong and full of hope, with positive prayers and promises to keep me on my feet.

But another wave of tribulation came, followed by a strong undercurrent of doubt and negativity—then I held my breath as I allowed my own quick-fixes and self-helps to push me further under water. My spirit became weak and numb, and my emotions were shaking and rolling with each wave.

I knew that if I just cried out to the Lord, His strong arm would hold me afloat and eventually land me on solid ground, but it took way too long for me to actually give it all over to Him.

I felt like the man in Mark 9:24 who exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I whole-heartedly long for steadfast faith no matter which breaker I’m on or beneath. It’s difficult to admit that sometimes I allow my circumstances to interrupt my faith. How many times have I read the passage about Peter walking on water until he took his eyes off of Jesus? I find myself wishing I were in better spiritual shape, but even His disciples struggled.

Thankfully, as I look even deeper into the analogy, I can see God-waves throughout my life as a believer. Waves of hope and protection. Waves of grace and mercy. His love pours over me, flows through me, preserves me. If I am willing to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” His saltiness will rub off on me and then on to others.

Can you relate this experience to your own life?

While the troubling surges of life can overwhelm us, only His love will consume us. If we take our eyes off of Him and doubt Him for a time, it’s not long before the Holy Spirit convicts and reminds us where our true hope is found.

So what’s in a wave anyway? The better question is “WHO’s in your wave?” HE IS! When our eyes are on Him, we will have everything we need to surf the waves that would otherwise break us down. From little ripples to huge surges, He longs for us to stay focused on Him, believing and not doubting, trusting that soon we will see it all from Heaven’s shore, giving Him the glory that belongs to Him.

Lord Jesus, help us to be steadfast when the wind and the waves come to knock us off our feet. Help us, show us how to keep our eyes on You no matter what. Our hope is in You, Jesus. We are so small, and YOU are so big. Keep us ever mindful of your largeness in every sense of the word. Thank you for Your all-consuming love, compassion and faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

***I wrote this post a few years ago and wanted to repost

because I need the overall message right now.

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8 Responses to When Waves Hit Hard…

  1. Patty Wysong says:

    Boy, can I relate to this, La. So often I’ve cried out like the man Mark, “Help my unbelief.” I’m so glad his story is in the Bible, as well as Peter. Thanks for this.
    Patty Wysong recently posted..B is for Book Love

  2. Joe Pote says:

    I can so relate to this post, LauraLee! I’ve felt the force of those waves (both positive and negative) through several difficult life circumstances.

    That passage in Mark is both a favorite verse and a frequent prayer. Lord, I believe! Help thou, my unbelief!

    Thank you, for sharing!
    Joe Pote recently posted..On the Back Side of God’s Glory

  3. Ah, there is something about the ocean… My last trip to there, I watched a mom lifting her little boy over the waves as they crashed onto the beach. I came away with this reassurance from my Father – I will not stop the waves but I will NEVER let go of your hand.

    I wear a bracelet as a reminder.

  4. Lisa Mikitarian says:

    One of my reoccurring nightmares centers on waves crashing over me–usually in Tsunami style. Maybe next time I can will my subconscious to include Christ standing next to me.

  5. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Me too, Peej. I really appreciate your comments!

  6. LauraLeeShaw says:

    As you can see, you’re not alone, Joe. Thanks for sharing.

  7. LauraLeeShaw says:

    What a picture, Paula. Wow. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. LauraLeeShaw says:

    I hope so, Lisa. I’d hate to think of a nightmare like that everytime I go to the ocean. I hope that dream never returns and is replaced with His waves of mercy and grace washing over you.

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