The waves were huge and the storm rough. My arms were so tired from paddling; they felt as weak as noodles. Getting past one large wave; another one was on the horizon. I paddled as hard as I could, trying not be overtaken by the huge surf. There was wave after wave; I didn’t think I was going to make it. As I gasped for air, I found myself gripping the board ever so tightly. I was paddling circles in the midst of the stormy sea. I couldn’t help but wonder why I paddled out; why did I want to conquer the big waves? When I finally got back to the shore, I had no strength left in my bones. I lay there in the sand shocked and frozen, gripped by the fear of what I had just been through. Often we feel this way in life…overtaken by something or someone in such a way that we cannot see beyond it. The mind so full of emotions that you just feel like you can’t escape them. You’re not alone; you are in the boat that is tossed to and fro by the waves of life and need the storm to be calmed.
The tragic loss of a very close friend during the holidays was very difficult. For me, this started a season of storms that gripped me so tightly. I found my mind consumed by my circumstances. I couldn’t wait to get home to my family during the holidays, hoping for that moment to be still. Often it seems when I have expectations of peace and rest, God has other plans though. The day I landed in California I got news that my friend’s husband had committed suicide. My heart became even heavier. I found myself on a trail of unexpected ministry needs and opportunities with friends and family. This isn’t a bad thing, but when you’re feeling weighed down, it can be hard.
I’m the kind of person that loves to help people, especially when there is a need or someone in trouble or hungry. I can’t help but be emotionally moved by the things I see around me! If it’s in my capability and power, I will do something about it. So I often find myself carrying the weight of the world and forgetting to give it to the Lord. I was emotionally broken by all I had seen and endured. I had forgotten one key component; we are never called to carry the heavy yoke, but to find strength through Him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Phil.4:13.
In any kind of water training, you are taught when saving a drowning victim to put a flotation device between you and the person you are trying to save so they do not pull you under causing you to drown with them. I wasn’t making sure Christ (my flotation device) was between me and those I was ministering to. This can be true in so many different aspects of our lives! Our human nature tends to cling to the idea that we, in some way, can fix things, circumstances, people, or ourselves. God then becomes secondary or obsolete all together.
That is exactly where the enemy wants us to be. At a place where we become so overwhelmed by the situation at hand, we grow weary and faint. In weariness, we are discouraged and often find ourselves in a very dark place, looking to grab anything that comes into reach to satisfy or numb what we are going through. Before we know it, we find ourselves being pulled under because we didn’t make Christ our anchor. Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” You and I don’t need an anchor for calm seas. The rougher the weather, the more important your anchor! The rougher the circumstances we face, the nearer we need to draw to Christ.
God began showing me that if He wasn’t the source of my strength, then I labored in vain (Ps. 127:1). It is so important to put God first in all you are facing and going through. He has never brought a storm so great that it ceased from ending. There is always another sun shining again. When He is who we turn to, we find ourselves not needing to be overwhelmed. Sometimes He is waiting for us to surrender all to Him. To literally let go of whatever it is you are gripping so tightly and to just let Him.
Maybe you are trying so hard to find the perfect man…let go, seek Him first, and trust He knows what He is doing. Maybe you are saddened by the loss of a loved one and you cannot move past the pain, lay the tears at the feet of Jesus and let Him carry you through it. Maybe financially you have no clue how you are going to make it. Go outside and look how He provides for the birds of the air; will He not much more take care of you? Maybe you feel alone and forgotten. Do you know He can’t get you off His mind
(Ps.139:17-18)? Your life serves a purpose; look to Him to know what that is. Maybe you are fighting a cancer and you don’t know what the outcome will be. He does and His strength is made perfect in your weakness. Trust Him. No matter what you are going through today, remember that our God holds the span of the universe in His hands. We are so small and our problems hold no merit in comparison to His ability. Let go, casting all your cares on him and know how very much He cares for you. He’s got you, He loves you and He will never leave you!!
Is He your anchor today? Is He your flotation device keeping you above water between you and your situation? If not, I encourage you to say this prayer with me:
Lord, forgive me for not making You the core for my strength. Help me to trust_______________ to You. May You help me to keep my eyes on You and to remember when fear seeps in, that You are greater. Help me to see things from a godly perspective. May my circumstances never be bigger than You. Thank You Lord, for being my shield today against the storm. Amen
I encourage you to go watch the sunset or sunrise today. Go get away from everything and take a moment to be still before Him. It is in that stillness you will hear Him the most! Aloha.