As a kid our family made a yearly pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast-back when the beaches were wide open vistas, the water see-through green and the days long and unhurried.
We didn’t spend money on the “attractions” or tourist trap souvenir shops-we got up early to watch the sun rise and spent the remainder of the day back and forth between the beach and the water.
I loved to find a spot that was about waist deep and feel the waves move across my body-up and down, up and down-floating in rhythm to the world’s heartbeat.
But every so often a wave would surprise me, crash over my head unannounced and break the cycle of gentle rocking with a sputter-inducing plunge beneath the salty sea.
As long as the giant waves were few and far between, I could recover, regather my sense of well-being and continue to enjoy the water.
But when the first wave marked a change in the tide or an incoming storm and was followed by more and more of the same, I knew it was time to move toward shore.
I could withstand one or two of these but if there was no chance to catch my breath in between I was going under.
This past week has been a deluge of waves.
Waves of grief,
waves of regret,
waves of disappointment,
waves of discouagement.
No storm clouds on the horizon. No major life events or grief anniversaries-just a turning of the tide.
And so I find myself retreating a bit.
Backtracking from progress I thought I had made. Retracing steps and repeating cycles I though I had left behind.
I suspect that most of us have weeks like this.
You don’t have to bury a child to beg Jesus to make things whole again-to bring hope to your heart again-to ask Him to calm the storm and save you from destruction.
Ebb and flow. Waves and calm. Storms and sunshine. Life is made up of all of these.
I am confident that Jesus is the Peace-speaker. He can calm the wind and the waves.
I want to have faith. I want to learn to call out in trust and not doubt.
I’m working on that and waiting for His Spirit to work on it in me.
But as I wait, I’m going to have to sit on shore for awhile.