Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What's In A Wave, Part One

“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 this summer. 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 the past three years 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 me 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 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.

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.

In the Key of HE,

14 friends shared a comment:

Kathy C. said...

Laura Lee, that is a lovely post with a perfect mind picture to relate lifes trials with the awesome and unpredictable power of the ocean waves.
Amen Sister!

Laurie Ann said...

Beautiful devotion and prayer, LauraLee. I will never look at waves the same way again. Great post!

Sita said...

I have had both the physical and spiritual experience of being rolled and pounded by the surf. Both situations revealed one thing, my total lack of control, and my need to confess, "Help!" It was so easy to become a 'victim' with that emotion of complete helplessness, but the instinct to survive forces you to take action, to fight, realizing too that there is a battle for your life.
Great word, love your writing.

Yvonne Blake said...

What a great analogy! I think we are often like Peter, looking at our circumstances instead of the Lord. Sometimes, the waves are so close together that we have to stop fighting and let God take over. Good thoughts!

Joanne Sher said...

I love love LOVE this analogy. I'll never look at waves the same again (and what a great pic of ya!). You have learned SO much in the waves, as have I. Thank you for sharing it with us here! Love ya!

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

See I told you! There is a reason I leave these things up to you lol. That was a wonderful post my friend.
Blessings to you sister!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Laura Lee,

Thank you for your sweet comment over at Faith Lifts today.

The scripture that speaks to your heart from Isaiah, "..I have called you by name, you are mine." Is so very special to my heart as well.

I just love your name, it is just beautiful....AND I would love to say that I am from Texas. We visited a few years ago, went to Schliterbauns and had such a blast.

Blessings, Joanne

Gigi said...

Fantastic post! I'm coming off a week where the waves in my life have done their best to pummel me. But my eyes are firmly on my Jesus and those waves are just lapping at my feet - right where they ought to me. I needed this reminder of Who is really in control here! Thank you!

Debra Kaye said...

Laura Lee,

Had a big wave knock me pretty hard this week. I am so grateful for the Lord's ability to calm those waves!! Thank you for your beautiful verse you left me..it ministered to me so!

This was a beautiful post!

Blessed Among Women said...

This was a great post! Thank you for reminding me. Like I heard one man put it. You start to sink when you start thinking of self preservation,depend on Jesus for all things. :)

RYC: Thank you! I really liked contributing to At The Well.

lori said...

Laura Lee....THAT was powerful stuff...in your own words WOWZER!

"When I entered the struggling season, I didn’t even know I was in the middle of an ocean that would push me around me with pounding force for a great while to come."

Been there a few times myself...
What a wonderfully honest post today..you spoke to MY heart..

Fabulous way for me to end the day!
thanks girlfriend...

Tracy said...

Hi Laura Lee,
What a great post, and one to which I can definitely relate. I love the way this changes the whole focus of the waves coming in around us...HE is in the midst of those waves.

Thanks again for one that will stick with me.

Blessings to you!

Mari said...

Thank-you! :D

Josh said...

I have a serious problem with doubt sometimes. It's not that I doubt God or His ability to work things out for good in my life, but I do sometimes have a hard time picturing a positive outcome within negative situations. I start feeling like I am not really a Christian. After all, doesn't a true believer ALWAYS trust? You made a good point that even His disciples, the men He chose to walk with Him on this Earth, doubted at times. I find myself feeling like I am being tossed by a wave, but rather than flailing and panicking, I need to remember to stay calm and just look UP.

Why does every post you write seem to strike a chord with me? Maybe I'm thinking that I'm the only one going through these things right now, when in fact, there are many who need to hear this message. I guess I'm not alone. :)