When The Waves Keep Crashing
I'm not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean. I like looking at the ocean, walking on the beach, sitting on the deck of a fine restaurant eating seafood by the ocean and going on a cruise ship that traverses the ocean to exotic ports of call.
I just don't like swimming in the ocean.
To begin with, I have an irrational fear of being eaten by a shark. And since sharks naturally live in the ocean, I feel that it reduces my chances of being eaten by one by simply not going in the ocean.
Secondly, I don't like the feeling of being out of control when the waves are really crashing. I've been turned upside down and all around by a wave when I was body surfing one time, hit my head on the sea floor, and had to struggle to figure out where the surface was as I was running out of air.
When I finally stuck my head above water, I got hit by another huge wave, and then another, and another. By the time I staggered to shore, I was exhausted, coughing and spitting up sea water.
Have you ever had a season in your life where it felt like the waves just kept coming? Just when you got your head above water, another wave came crashing in to nearly drown you, and then another and another.
Maybe the waves that crashed had to do with your marriage, or your children... Or maybe you got hit by a rogue wave of financial distress, or a crisis in your career... Or perhaps the waves that keep hitting you are waves of health issues that don't seem to end.
The Apostle Paul wrote about how these moments of helplessness can actually be moments when we find the most hope in God. He wrote about how he prayed to God to release him from the waves of distress and trouble that he was experiencing. Paul wrote that God revealed to him:
"'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” And then Paul responds: Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
Lately, I've been feeling the waves. It feels like they won't stop coming at times, and there's nothing that I seem to be able to do to break free of them. Which is why Paul's words are so important for me, and for all of us.
I know that I can't withstand the waves on my own, and the only thing I can do is turn to the One who calms the waves with a word. My own strength isn't enough, but even my weakness is made strong through the power of the Holy Spirit of God in Christ.
May you find strength in your weakness as you turn to Jesus, who is the author and completer of your faith. May you discover newfound power in the Spirit to withstand even the most powerful waves of life.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.