Scripture of the Week:
Psalm 66:12 (NIV)
“You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
Hope Discovery of the Day:
His salvation is our rescue, not the hoping for the waves to be still.
Running to the waves with my game face on, I prepared to launch over the intimidating waves and show those younger kids that I still had it. I wasn’t going to wimp out now – they were all shocked I was going for it. And then came the roaring laughter when I was knocked completely over and buried in sea foam. Trying to look unfazed, I let out a “whoop, whoop” with as realistic a laughter as I could muster, like I was having the time of my life. Only I wasn’t – and I kind of felt like a spinning top. Tenaciously clutching my boogie board, I sized up my foe – those waves were goin’ down. That’s right. Nope. Same outcome. What in the world? I had lost my touch.
Oh, friends, life is just like that. We get pummeled one moment by waves we did not expect, then refreshed by a calm breeze the next. We try to get accustomed to the peaceful moments, and can start to place our hope in them, but then when the waves come, we are unprepared.
Just like we hold out for a moment of relief in the endless sea of waves, God is continually holding out a hope for us, too. Only our idea of hope might look a little different.
Everyone likes good news, right? We hope and we hope in what? Good news. Good outcomes. Anything to help provide a little relief from the daunting waves that seem to keep crashing on top of our heads. And then it happens . . . right when we think we just can’t hold on any longer and we brace for the next wave to hit and God just busts the sky wide open with hope.
Can you relate? I think we feel the tension all around us constantly dragging us down like a riptide and try to fix that tension with hope as our lifesaver. Hope that things will get easier. Hope that the next wave will be kinder and that we will have the grace to handle it. Until God changes our perspective in a big way.
It’s funny, this week I have had some hard news. Not fun news. And it might be a long season of trying to sort it all out. The surprise was that I wasn’t surprised by it. Sure, I wept, but then I had this odd thing filling my heart and mind – complete peace. Peace from a wave that threatened to loom over me for years to come? Yes. Perfect peace. Sitting in the doctor’s office hearing news I did not expect, there was this surrendering in my soul that realized God. Was. In. Complete. Control. And so very kind to reveal things we need to see.
In another time, I would have wondered what God was up to, and now there is this awe at how He mysteriously weaves it all together. I wept before the LORD then smiled. “Ok, God. I’m Your girl. Whatever you have for me, you already know it completely. Help me walk this out well. All for Your glory.” And then that wave was gone.
The next day, another wave came. It, too, tried to jar fear and alarm. But this time I was again not so surprised. The initial reaction of hurt was quelled with the reality that we are completely accepted by God, no matter what waves hit us. My hope was not in a perfect wave anymore that I coast on peacefully. It was in the Maker of the waves.
Picking up my Bible like a boogie board as I worked through the waves coming my way this week, God revealed precious truths. I did not have to be afraid anymore. My life is not my own. I did not have to search for perfect waves and worship being safe and protected. I just had to ride the waves with Him. “Ok, God. Am I going to survive this next wave?” “Yes, you are. It might hurt a bit, but I will hold you in my right hand. I am with you always and will not let you go.” “Let’s go, God.”
And really, in that moment it was sweet surrender and letting go. I never controlled the waves, anyway. And isn’t this the beautiful relationship that we were meant to have with the God of this universe, anyway? We learn to trust Him in such a way that we are finally free to truly hope, but not in perfect, comfortable outcomes. In Him. In His Good News – the Gospel. His salvation is all we ever will need. I did not need to place my hope agonizingly in anything this world offered, anymore, being discouraged if I did not obtain my desire. My times are in His hands.
As the waves drew back to resurge my direction, I did not bother to look. I did not need to. My God owns the waves and He sees me. That’s when it happened. The sun broke through with an unexpected breeze. Only this time, it was wave after wave of a beautiful sunshine bringing good news. Good news that blew me away. Oh, the sweet relief when God sends us reassurance and a long desired dream is fulfilled. And I was surprised. Again. I had thought that I would have jumped up and down and screamed, but there was just this peace and awe of God. I wasn’t worshiping what I had hoped for on this earth anymore. Just filled with gratitude that my God was with me to enjoy it all – the hard pressing moments when we feel we cannot hold on for another moment and those tender mercies that God sends our way just ’cause He can . . . and wants to bless us.
In the waves life sends our way there are promises to be found. His purposes are always good even when they seem hard. And it is always to bring us to a better place of abundance and joy. God rules over every single wave this life sends our way. His salvation is our rescue, not the hoping for the waves to be still.
Psalm 89:9 (NIV)
“You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.”