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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's In A Wave?

“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 last spring. 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.

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.

Selah~ Pause. Ponder. Praise.



Blogger Brook said...

I loved your word pictures Laura! God is so good. He never forsakes us no matter how many times He has to draw us near before we obey. Thank you for your transparency.

June 17, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

What a great article! I think we can all relate to times in our life when we don't lean on God as we should. Mine was after the birth of my first child.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
Love Collette x

June 17, 2009 at 5:12 AM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

What a wonderful word Laura! Yes indeed, the one Who is in the wave with us is the same One who stood with the three men in the fire, and He is always with us.

June 17, 2009 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger PW said...

I as prepare to move tomorrow, what an excellent post for today. Thanks, so much.

June 17, 2009 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Sonia said...

Keeping in theme that was a great post. I did not remember that verse from Mark 9:24...but it's awesome, because how many times do we struggle trying to find God or even struggle to lean on Him. And all we have to do is cry out to Him help me to believe! WOw!

Thank you :)

June 17, 2009 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Sita said...

I smiled when I read reminiscent of my own experience I wrote about here..

I love the wave analogy..I love water period! It's so reveals to me the nature of God...the satisfaction of thirst; power; majesty; calm; depth; beauty...I could go on!

thanks for sharing!
Love, Sita

June 17, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

I also let my circumstances affect my faith - and yes, I've had my share of struggles as you know. This is an excellent reminder (and I love that picture of you!) of God in the midst.

June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger LisaShaw said...

Very encouraging message LauraLee. Thank you for sharing with us. You're always a blessing.

June 17, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Terri Tiffany said...

You give me hope through your words. I haven't thought of trials as waves. I'm in a huge one now and what a good analogy you've given me! Thank you! Blessings!

June 17, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Several years ago, I was in a time of intense counseling following a dark season of the soul. I remember my counselor saying something of profound importance to me then. It stays with me now. In effect, he said ...

"elaine, you spend a lot of time running from the waves. In fact, you expend most of your energy trying to flee from its embrace. What would it be for you if next time when the waves threaten, you plant your feet with all the strength of heaven and then turn and face the wave ... dead on."

I don't know if that means anything to you today, but it means something to me.

Embrace the wave friend, and should that wave wash you over to the shores of my NC home, I'll welcome you with all the joy and anticipation that I did with Susan this past week.

I love you.


June 17, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Great word Laura Lee!!

Your prayer was beautiful too.


June 17, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Laury said...

Thank you for sharing this, Laura. Sometimes the waves just lap at our feet and don't bother us. Other times we get swept under and can hardly breathe. God is the One that hauls us out and saves us - He certainly is our Life Guard, our Life Saver, our Life's Savior.

Love this post. Is so very timely.

June 17, 2009 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Laura Lea,
First of all I want to thank you for visiting my blog and your sweet comments to me..

As you know I've had some waves this year. To be honest when I think of this, it reminds me of the times in the ocean when one comes out of no-where and knock me down. Feeling the salt-water up my nose, stinging my eyes, I slowly get back up... If I don't get up quickly another one comes and knocks me down again... Sometimes that's how I've felt this year... one wave after another.

He comes for me and picks me up and sets me up on my feet again. As you read in my blog this week, He's picking me back up, drying my eyes and walking right beside me.

Loved this picture!

June 17, 2009 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

God is sooo in this I loved hearing your personal stories and further applications to His message. THANK YOU!

June 17, 2009 at 11:55 PM  
Anonymous genial said...

love your post here :) greetings from Jakarta Indonesia.. and have a gorgeous day to you :)

June 18, 2009 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a sweet, precious word, bless you my friend.

June 18, 2009 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Patty Wysong said...

What an analogy! And so true! So many times I've thought I was stepping in a puddle only to find I was wading into the ocean...

Thanks, Laura!

June 18, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post spoke to my heart today.
I am in the middle of a 3-yr season of loss, pain and many trials. God wants me to trust Him, but I find it hard, stemming back to childhood abandonment. I have forgiven my Mother and wish she were here today so we could talk. I abhore self-pity, but seem to find myself in the pit many days. I keep praying for more faith and healing. I know God is good, but I wish I could just learn the lessons and move on!
Your words help. TFS

June 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Sue, I'm pausing to pray for you right now. Thank you for sharing this. I can relate & so many others can too. You are not alone. ((((hugs)))

June 18, 2009 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Dee Yoder said...

It's funny, but I sometimes feel worried when I'm NOT in the ocean! It has become so common to my life in the last decade to have waves and deep troughs of water to tread. And it has all taught me this: I DON'T have the strength to keep treading water on my own--only through the Lord can I stay afloat for such a length of time in the "deep".

June 18, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Thank you LauraLee for your inspiring post. I like it that you compare the trials of life with the ocean.
Hugs and blessings,

June 21, 2009 at 3:18 AM  

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