Today while sitting on the dock drinking coffee, I thought about how low the water is in the lake this year. I got thinking about how the weather changes from season to season, year to year, day to day, and sometimes by the hour. I thought about the impact of weather on the lakes, rivers, streams, and ocean. Today the lake is calm and ripples with the cool breeze. I’ve seen it rough and treacherous as well. Huge swells and white caps warn boaters of a rough day on the water. There are times when the day can start out sunny and beautiful but suddenly change as a squall stirs up the waters and forces boaters to head for safety. While contemplating, I was reminded of all the times as a kid I would swim at the ocean. As the tide changed, the direction of the pull from the waves would suddenly knock me off my feet. The force was so strong at times that I would be pulled under and dragged a good distance down the shore. It only took a few seconds before the ocean would finally pop me out, bruised and bloodied from the scouring of the sandy ocean floor. I remember feeling terrified as I would kick and grasp for something to save me from being pulled into the undertow. When I finally remembered to relax and let the ocean release me, it would purge me from its clutches. (Disclaimer, This is not advice on how to survive, avoid, or get out of an undertow.) Often I would come out coughing and spitting up sea water and sand. I was always disoriented as it had dragged me spinning head over tail, backwards and sideways, like a washing machine churning out laundry. Once I got my bearings back I would run down the shoreline looking for our spot, the place where we had layed our lawn chairs, towels and bright red cooler. Then, I would rush right back in and do it all over again.
Sounds terrifying doesn’t it? Yet I enjoyed every second of it. To this day the ocean is my favorite place to be. I especially enjoy it on warm and sunny, summer days.
My husband and I were talking recently about how much we both have going on in our lives. How easy it is to get discouraged and feel overwhelmed. After all, there’s only so much time in a day and we all have our responsibilities that require our time and attention. We talked about how we both at different points came to the understanding that life in general is out of our hands. Sure we are responsible for whether we panic or relax. We are responsible for the decisions we make amongst the turmoil and churning forces of this life. But when we both remembered to relax, to put our trust back in God, to release all our fears to him and to let him purge us from strongholds, we became peaceful again.
The raging events around us don’t scare us anymore. In fact we’re enjoying things again and we’re ready to take on the next wave.
And you know, I’m still not afraid of drowning.
Matthew 14: 24 -27
“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves….27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”