Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Overwhelmed by waves

I noticed a young child at play on the large, whale-like barriers meant to keep the angry tides out, and the placid waters in.

The red flag on the beach should have been respected;  undertow, strong tides, caution!
It wasn't.
The boy breached the barrier in search of bigger, better waves, and suddenly a day of play took a dangerous turn for the worse.

With every wave, the child was washed over the barrier and out to sea.
A new wave returned him. Another threw him back.
Over and over the ocean tossed the child, as though it were enjoying a twisted game of keep away with itself. The boy the bullied, volleyed victim.

The watchful eye of the father was no match for the callous, cold-hearted sea. He and the boy were at the mercy of the waters and overwhelmed by waves.

Now turn the page back a few thousand years and you will find another story where some--Joshua and the children of Israel-- were overwhelmed by waves. Only this time it wasn't fear, it was awe.
"Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge,  the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away...so the people crossed over on dry land." (1)

My head can't wrap around the glory.

Imagine all the threats a day at sea could hold; man-eaters, man-haters, debris, trash, suffocating waters of life, waves of worry,  floating sticks of sickness, relationship fissures--all contained by a frozen wall of water as if it were marine life on the other side of museum glass.

By the mighty hand of God, sea's of trouble will part, pile in a heap down stream, and  give us dry ground in the midst of it. The waves won't overwhelm us.

This isn't to say we will never bump into bad, but it does mean we have the hand of God restraining the ruin waiting to drown us. (2)
Provided we don't breech the barriers of his commands like a child oblivious to the deep waters of sin, that is. Then the undertow could grab our ankles and life could make a game of us.

The red flag of Jesus' blood waves high in mercy as we face the churning seas of life ; undertow, strong tides, caution!

We would do well to take notice of the direction the heavenly winds are blowing that red flag so you will know which way to go, since you have never been through the way of this new day before. (3)

It's never too late to return to shore.

We need not be overwhelmed by the waves of life.

Father, grant us dry ground to walk on, overwhelm us with your waves of mercy. 

(1)  Joshua 3:15-17
(2) 2 Thessalonians 2:7
(3) Joshua 3:4