Jess, my fiancé, and I took a vacation the first week of July. We went down to Destin, Florida to enjoy some time in the sun and in the ocean. This was the first time that I had been to the beach in many, many years. While I enjoy things like taking walks along the shoreline, lying in the sun, and reading a good book on the beach, my favorite thing to do is to play in the waves. I love that feeling of when hundreds of gallons of saltwater comes crashing down on me. There’s just something about experiencing the force and power of nature that excites me.
It just so happened that there were a lot of storms out at sea while we were down there. This meant that there were some pretty big waves. For the most part, I would throw myself into the wave as it hit its breaking point. It would throw me around, but I was usually able to keep my footing and would quickly be ready for the next one. Every so often, I would feel the water around my feet being pulled out into the deeper waters. This meant one thing: a huge wave was coming my way. My heart would start pounding as my anticipation grew. I have a singular motto when it comes to playing in the waves: the bigger, the better. However, sometimes the wave would be too much for me to handle. It would take my feet out from under me and toss me around as if I was no more than some floating seaweed.
One thing to know about the beach in Destin, you can walk a long, long way out into the ocean before you are actually in deep water. I would go out about 100 yards, and the water would only be just about waist deep. Because of this, I felt secure. I knew that no matter how big the wave was or how much it threw me around, I could always manage to get my feet back on solid ground. Admittedly, there was a time or two that I got a little worried because I was under the water longer than I wanted to be. Nevertheless, I knew that if I could put myself back on the firm foundation, then I was going to be ok.
At some point, while I was out there, I thought about how playing in the waves was like our lives. Life isn’t easy. A lot of times, it feels like the waves keep crashing on us. The waves of pain, hurt, suffering, anxiety, uncertainty, financial issues, temptations, trials, mistakes, selfishness, and countless other kinds are relentless. We can handle many of them, but sometimes a wave will come that will completely knock us off our feet. Jesus told us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” We have all experienced it and continue to experience it. We are constantly battling just to get our heads above water so that we can be ready for the next wave to hit.
I have good news for you! Our savior followed his previous statement with, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” There is nothing in this world that can defeat us because there was nothing that could defeat Christ– not even death. This is the solid ground on which we must choose to stand. Our faith in Jesus is going to be the only thing that is going to provide us safety and security when the waves are crashing down around us and on us. Just like I could trust that everything would be ok because I knew that there was solid ground below me, we can trust that Christ is going to take care of us even in the most troubling of times.
It’s not always going to be easy. Honestly, sometimes it will hurt. There will be times that we just barely get ourselves above the water to take a breath before the next wave of life’s troubles comes crashing down on our heads. Regardless of what this world will throw at you, your foundation of faith will always be there, and it cannot be broken. The next time that life is throwing more at you than you can handle, remember that you will be ok because there is a firm foundation beneath your feet. Put your feet on the ground that is your faith, take a breath, and praise Jesus that he has already overcome whatever it is with which you are dealing. He loves you. He’s not going to leave you nor forsake you in those times of trouble. He will be by your side, even when you’re out amongst the waves.
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