Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crushing Waves of Life

"You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God" (Jonah 2:3-6 NIV).

I got to experience Jonah's waves in a very slight form this past week. We vacationed in San Francisco and viewed the Pacific Ocean many times along the coastal highway, both north and south of the huge city. I completed a bucket list item: I walked in the ocean water. I took off my shoes and socks and rolled up my jeans. It was a full moon time and the waves were crashing onto the shore. The beach was long and dotted by people on the 70 degree day. As I approached the water I watched where the waves were coming in and carefully ventured closer. Suddenly a wave swept toward me with a smooth sweeping motion that forced me to stabilize my stance as the water pushed up to my knees and slipped back into the ocean again. I braced myself, thinking at one point I was going to be pushed over. But I suffered only wet jeans from my knees down.

As I watched the bigger waves repeatedly crash onto the beach I was mesmerized by the roar of the powerful ocean. I can see how someone could get hurt by or be pulled back into the ocean by the waves. They were truly unapproachable, as the signs warned. I think I could have watched the waves all day. It was such a different experience for this farm girl. The white caps formed over and over in long rolls of foamy water racing toward the shore and crashing onto the sand or into the rocks creating water spouts that splashed toward the heavens.

I can't help but remember times in my life when depression was like the engulfing waters, wearing me out by the persistent waves that crashed over and over against me until I could no longer see the light, only darkness. But, God was faithful and delivered me also from the pit of pain and hopelessness.

"When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple" (Jonah 2:7 NIV).

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