Riding this Wave
Updated: Mar 23, 2020
Are you cowering...or cowabunga-ing?
I was in LA a little more than a month ago and felt the need to take a long walk along the beach. I went on that walk because I knew I needed to search for something. What I was searching for...I had no freaking idea. All I knew was that I needed to see or hear a message from God that day. So I set out on that walk.
And I walked. And I waited. And walked. And waited. Searching. And the longer I searched the more frustrated I became. I could not find what I was looking for.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward to now. In the midst of this pandemic chaos, it's come to me.
God brought me a Word picture that day. At the time it was a vision that I found interesting...but I was certain it was"not what I came searching for". It didn't knock my socks off and it just didn't seem compelling enough.
The story is quite simple and simply perfect. For this time of uncertainty. For this time of terror and fear. And for this time when perhaps our fates have never felt so near.
It started off with just watching some folks attempting to swim out in the ocean. Attempting is the key word here. They had to remain pretty close to shore because the ocean was roaring that day. Each wave knocking them off their feet. Every whitecap exhausting them. And every attempt to make progress out to sea blocked by a force far more powerful than they were. They stood no chance. And frankly, if they were a little less careful, they could have been the ocean's victim that day.
The waves were pummeling them, and pummeling them hard.
This past week, I've known so many (including me) who have felt like we were getting pummeled, just like these swimmers. But instead...pummeled by fear, by uncertainty, by these major crazy changes to our lives. No doubt, it's felt like a big wave crashing right on top of us.
There is no doubt, this virus is a giant force far more powerful that we are. It has somehow managed to inhibit the progress of the entire human race. It has literally knocked our nation and our world off it's feet. And one it appears to have taken far too many of us a victims of fear.
So many of us are fearful.
I'll admit that I've been fearful...in moments. I've had moments of forgetting my faith. Moments of forgetting to trust. And moments of forgetting to lean into the one who is far more powerful than this virus.
These moments have really felt like taking on a big giant wave...alone.
And as I've taken this wave on, I've been desperately trying to control. I've been trying to control every single element I can to try to prevent this virus from crashing down upon the people that I love...and even people that I've never met. Every hand wash, wipe down, Lysol spray, Clorox wipe, mask, glove...an obsessive attempt to prevent my family from being taken under and falling victim to this powerful force. Every headline, social media post, and press conference of doom and gloom exhausting me and questioning my ability to stay afloat. There's no doubt, there are days when this coronavirus wave makes me feel like I'm drowning.
But then I am reminded of the next part of the story that God revealed to me that day in LA. Just beyond the swimmers who were barely staying afloat was a group of surfers. The groups of surfers on their surfboards were taking on the very same waves as the swimmers. Only their battle with the same waves looked very different.
Actually, it didn't look like a battle at all.
The surfers had no fear as they took the waves head on. Their anxiety, non existent. They had something to carry them over the wave. In fact that something actually made the wave feel like a smooth ride. It would keep them afloat no matter how big of a wave was coming at them. And no matter what, progress was made.
That's what its like when we bring God into our battle with this tidal wave we are dealing with right now. It starts to feel less like a battle and more like a ride. Taking the anxiety, fear, and dread that is crashing down upon us and turns it into a smooth ride of hope, trust and faith. The wave doesn't change, but how we are navigating it does.
When God is our surfboard, we do not have to fear the waves we are taking on.
I know this from experience. In the moments that I've turned to Him and trusted, I've felt carried. I've felt taken care of. I've felt like I could surrender the burdens of control I've been carrying. I've felt completely and totally protected.
There is no doubt that this virus is a big powerful force. But in comparison to the power that God has, it is minuscule. God is far more powerful than we can possibly imagine and more powerful than anything that has ever existed. And that very same power....let me repeat, THAT VERY SAME POWER...He placed within us through the Holy Spirit when we accepted Him into our lives. When we use this power that He placed within us we are able to navigate these rough waters very differently. We don't get pummeled, we glide over it.
And like surfers, our focus stops being about this giant wave taking us out, but what is beyond it. What would that do for your if you were to change this perspective right now? How would your heart, mind and soul feel if you were focused beyond this giant pandemic wave and looking at what was beyond it?
If you could instead have hope, trust and faith right now, what peace would that bring to your life?
That's the last part of the story that God revealed to me that day I walked the beach. As I looked beyond the waves crashing on shore, the rest of the ocean came into view. It was perfectly still. It was wide open. It went on forever. It was beautiful. It looked like what our salvation looks like. Perfect. No more scary waves. Just smooth sailing.
When we understand the amazing beauty and perfection of salvation, the fear of our own death begins to dissipate. When we turn to hope and trusting in God, the fear of losing the ones that we love begins to subside. And when we lean on our faith and we pray hard, the fear of what the future beholds disappears.
So ask yourself, how do you want to take on this wave?
Are you going to cower at this coming wave. Or are you going to say...