Sunday, July 9, 2017

Watch Out For the Waves!

I love the waters that God created—lakes, ponds, rivers, seas—but most of all the ocean because it is continually in motion. Nothing boring about the ocean. You can count on most of the others to be generally predictable and for the most part calm and tranquil. But not the ocean. 

You can anticipate the ocean to be unpredictable: the waves are capricious and impulsive. Even the rhythmic tides can surprise us. Sometimes waves bring unwelcome upheavals, turbulence and devastation as in a tsunami birthed as an earthquake in some far away location and deep beneath the surface along the ocean floor.

I have many precious friends for whom I pray who at this moment are struggling with physical issues that could turn into tsunamis at any time. I recognize one of them by looking into the mirror. 

What we might be accepting as chronic but stable “unfixables” this morning may become totally disordered and out of control before nightfall. Waves of life will come. A routine blood profile might suddenly be flagged as suspicious. Waves will come. Medications that held cancer at bay might cease working. Waves will come. Conditions that were in remission might turn acute. Diagnosis that has been benign might suddenly be reversed. Waves will come. An X-ray or MRI that was clear might suddenly need further exploration. Waves will come. Waves of life are unpredictable. They wash away our creative sand castles. We can learn to ride the waves. They have power to lift us higher.

Our waves in life may seem at certain times to be under control and peacefully rhythmic but in a moment can become threatening. Unless we are prepared beforehand to encounter them, the under-tow may catch us unaware and drag us under even if we are confidently swimming in the relative shallows. We may lose our balance unless we focus on a stable point or Person in the distance.


Waves of life are inevitable
They break upon my shore
and I must face them.

A thundering swell approaches:
I brace myself alarmed
but the wave spends itself
before it reaches me.
I feared in vain.

Some lesser waves
roll toward me silently
so slight I disregard them
but they capsize me suddenly
with surging undertow.

Waves wash to shore
with varied rhythm
subsiding and swelling
with respite between
to prepare for the unseen
yet certain waves of life.

The choice is mine:
I can run from them
but they will pursue me
or I can run to meet them
encounter them head on
ride their crest with courage
hailing them as friends.

If I gaze in apprehension
focusing on the waves
I lose my balance
my world spins and sways
but if I fix my eyes
upon some distant point
I stand unmovable and firm
though waves may roll
against my body or my soul!

"I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken."  Psalm 16:8

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