A few months ago, my brother and I were invited to an event at a church that just happened to be located near the beach. Even though it was definitely not the reason for the trip, there was absolutely no way that I was going to be that close to the ocean and not catch a glimpse.
Bundled up in our winter coats, we drove to the nearby beach community for a few minutes of salty air and enjoying God’s creation. Even though I was shivering as I stood on the boardwalk (it was cold!!) I just couldn’t seem to pull myself away from the beautiful site of wave upon wave crashing into each other and onto the shore.
As I stood there alone trying to soak in just a few more moments, (because my brother had enough common sense to get back into the warm car), the Holy Spirit used the fantastic site in front of me to teach me a very beautiful lesson about life.
What was the lesson?
Waves keep coming.
I know it doesn’t seem very profound but it was a reminder that was much needed in my life.
As I stood there looking out on the sea, I noticed that even as I watched one wave come in and crash onto the shore, a little further out in the ocean, there was another wave coming. If you look even further out, there were other waves forming.
One after another, the waves never stopped.
It was just a continuous pattern of one wave after another.
And that was the way it was supposed to be.
As I stood there shivering on the shore, the Holy Spirit used this visual to show me that this is normal life.
The waves don’t stop---they just keep coming.
Rather than thinking this is odd or that something is wrong because life isn’t always peaceful, serene, or quiet, I need to realize the consistency of waves is perfectly normal.
Instead of wasting time and energy trying to stop the waves or being emotionally distraught over the existence of the waves, what I really need to do is expect them and learn to go with the flow and ride the waves.
The more I thought about it, I remembered that without waves, waters grow stagnant.
Stagnant waters are often polluted and unhealthy.
There’s actually life in the waves---health and healing from contaminants.
Perhaps in my quest for peace and tranquility, I’m actually despising my greatest allies---the struggles that make me stronger, draw me closer to Jesus, and make me more into His image.
As I stood there watching the ocean, enjoying the last few seconds of vacation, I realized that I needed to change my attitude.
Going forward, I needed to welcome the waves.
I needed to anticipate them---prepare for them---and accept that they were coming.
Rather than seeing every wave as a tragedy, I needed to adapt my thinking to realize that they are a normal part of life.
Here today and gone tomorrow---followed by another opportunity to grow, to learn, and to become more like Jesus.
Looking back on the waves that have crashed on our lives over the past few months, I can now see that God used every one of them for His purpose, His plan, and to move us closer to His will in our lives.
Although at the time I feared that they might knock my feet right out from under me, I can now see that there was beauty in the waves.
That God had a design for every one of them, just like He’ll have a design for every one that comes in the future.
Unless I want to become sick and stagnant, I need to keep riding the waves with Him.
For all of the ups, downs, arounds and thrus of life.
That’s the beauty of the waves.