Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's In A Wave, Part Two

“…because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind.”

James 1:6b

The first day at the beach on our spring break vacation, it was horribly windy. We were bound to make the most of our tropical experience, however, so we went out to bask in the sand and the sun anyway. I don’t remember ever seeing waves crash like that (in person) before! The sand was stinging my legs and getting in my eyes as it blew at great force. While it wasn’t anything close to the sideway-standing reporters I’ve watched on the news during hurricanes, it still painted a good picture for me of the James verse above.

As I shared in What's In A Wave, Part One, trials come and go in our lives, often knocking us off our feet. Or at the very least, they sometimes send us diving for some source of rescue other than the only One who can help us through it all. We can even begin to make light of our humanness in the midst of the struggle. I know I do at times. It is clear, however, that God intends for me—for us as Christians--to grow in our faith, trusting Him more and doubting Him less each and every day.

I love the way the Message translates James 1:5-8:

"If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."

Ok, so first of all,

He LOVES to help, we’ll GET His help, and we WON’T BE looked down on WHEN WE ASK FOR IT.

Wow. I love it that He is so approachable. I don’t ever have to feel ridiculous or ashamed of needing help with Him. Again, wow. I know this, but I don’t always act like I do.

Secondly, I don’t have to beat around the bush. That phrase about worrying our prayers is really the problem, isn’t it? If we didn’t worry about what He was going to think of us or if He was listening in the first place, then we WOULD come before Him boldly and believingly, wouldn’t we?

Finally, if we think we can out-maneuver God, we’re out of luck. Can any other sources of comfort really fill our hurts, our indecisions or any needs? We can’t have it both ways. We either trust in Him to provide the help, or we keep our options open and continue to ride the waves of ups and the downs that come with the world’s solutions. I certainly don’t want to become a Christian castaway! (I heard an ‘Amen.’)

We must never forget that He-and He alone-has the ability to calm the storm, to stop the wind and the waves as He sees beneficial to us. I forget several times a day, with all kinds of stuff that comes up, and there He is, with His powerful Word and the Holy Spirit to bring me back to His reality instead of my own. That makes me breathe more deeply, more calmly, more confidently.

Today. This day. Right now is the time to believe and not doubt. To trust and obey in His perfect way. Together, let’s do so, I pray.

Lord Jesus, You have searched us and know us. You know that often times we say we believe You, and yet we still need help overcoming our unbelief. Forgive us. Help us and lead us in the way everlasting, Lord, Your way. Help us to trust You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, You still them.” Psalm 89:8-9

In the Key of HE,

9 friends shared a comment:

Kathryn said...

Amen, Laura Lee! I loved both of these posts. Wonderful analogies.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've lived long enough to have known some waves. I've outrun some; I've walked some; I've created some; I've been knocked down by some. Waves seem to be the way of things around here.

Several years ago, I had a wise counselor who told me, in essence,

"elaine, you've spent your entire life trying to outrun the force and the fury of the waves. What would it be if you could, rather than outrun them, turn and face them...head on...allowing them their moment and then realizing that you possessed enough strength all along to live alongside them?"

I've never forgotten that imagery. It helped me find my footing and to turn and deal with my stuff. And while the waves have changed over the years, my foundation has remained.

Stronger for the turning and deeper because of the faith to believe that the One who spoke the sea's existence is the One who authors its calm.


Tracy said...

Fantastic posts - such wisdom here. I'm so grateful we can come boldly before His throne in prayer when we've been driven to our knees by the storms, and waves of life. Thank you for sharing this!

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

Have I told you lately what an honor it is to be your friend lol. You are truly inspired by the Lord my friend. Great insight!
Blessings to you!
I have such a bad headache right now lol. I don't know why I had to tell you that!

Laurie Ann said...

Awesome post, LauraLee! I loved it as much as the first one. I especially love how approachable He is and how we can go to Him regardless of the waves...

Betsy Markman said...

Thanks for sending this wave our way!

BTW, I clicked on the link in the body of the text that was supposed to take me to Part 1, but I got an error page that said, "Blog not found."

Yvonne Blake said...

Beautiful thoughts, as usual, Laura.

I think the ups and downs of our emotions are a lot of problems. Why do we worry? Why can't we trust in our Heavenly Father?

Thanks for the reminder.

Joanne Sher said...

I DO love The Message - so powerful. And your insights absolutely blessed me. Amen, my dear.

Josh said...

I like that you quoted those verses from James. Studying that book is helping me a lot, and it's so wonderful to know that God encourages us to seek Him for help and that He wants us to boldly ask Him for assistance.