Wednesday, September 22

Pounding Surf

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. --Psalm 46:1-2

Three surfers went into the ocean to ride the 12 foot hurricane swells at Boca de Pascuales. One young man rode a wave for some time before he lost his balance and fell. He broke his neck as a result of the force of the ocean pummeling his body as he fell. The second surfer tried to duck under the wave, hoping to come up again on the other side. The waves kept coming--too large and too frequently--and he was held under so long that he drowned. The final surfer rode the wave to shore, his adrenaline overriding his sense of fear. He knew that reaching the shore safely was dependent on his ability to stay firmly balanced on the board. All three were good surfers. All three felt fear, but only one survived. (By the way, that third surfer happens to be a co-worker of mine.)

Sometimes life's hurricanes kick up large waves that can come crashing down upon us. Into every life a little rain must fall, and that rarely become a life-threatening situation. But what do we do when the storms keep coming? How do we keep from drowning when powerful waves force our heads to dip below surface for long periods of time? How do we keep our balance in a precarious position, knowing that one wrong move could result in a broken neck?

We can start by strengthening our relationships with God. He may not directly remove us from a painful or difficult situation, but he promises that he will be our constant strength and help. Every moment that we spend with him when life seems trouble-free, is a chance for us to allow him to quip us to face inevitable challenges.

When you're already up to your neck in water and waves are crashing around you, it's probably too late to learn the basics of surfing. When a hurricane has already decimated your home, it's already too late to start boarding up the windows. The more we allow God to strengthen our hearts and minds in the spiritual sense, the better prepared we will be for the storms that come. The stronger we are before we jump into the water, the longer we can hold up before needing to be rescued.

There are times when it is just as important to be aware of our inabilities as it is our abilities. God promises that he will never give us more than we can handle. I sometimes have trouble telling the difference between the storms God sends, and the ones I find all by myself. The moment that I begin to think that I can handle something without God is the moment that I teeter and fall--sometimes with disastrous consequences.

We can summon up all our internal fortitude, but if we think that our ability to withstand life's storms is rooted in ourselves, we will ultimately fail. By acknowledging God and earnestly seeking his face in time of trial as well as blessing, we need not fear the pounding surf.

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1 Comments:

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

Hello Lauren,
Thanks for the encouraging message you sent me. It really made me feel a little better. :) This summer has been really stressful in that I've sort of admitted to being something I've always scorned, an atheist: I don't believe in anything and I don't feel like I have the capacity to believe in anything right now. Usually I'm pretty good at hiding things, but one day I just blurted out a bunch of stuff to my friend online and she began to tell me about Christianity. I've heard it all before, but somehow I listened this time, and I am working on understanding religion so that I will somehow, someday be able to believe.
Interesting analogy (quite fitting, actually). Hmmm... well, it's motivational. Thanks again for commenting.. I'll be keeping my head above the waves,
Sincerely trying,
Morgan

 

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