When Waves Surround You
You’ve probably realized by now that life’s not like a train ride. You don’t have the ability to purchase a ticket and get on and off where you please. If anything, life’s more like a series of connecting trains, always connecting, never arriving, and always going, going, going.
Perhaps more so, you could say that life is like a sailboat ride. The winds push and pull you; the weather is fickle and unpredictable. Adjustments to your boat have to be made to sail successfully, not least to survive and keep yourself from becoming stranded.
Despite all of your best efforts, though, waves come crashing on you from all sides. Sometimes they’re smaller waves and barely strike the side of you boat. Other times they cover you and leave you gasping. Just when you think you’ve overcome a wave, another quickly comes. It can be easy to forget what a calm ocean is like.
These waves may take their shape in feelings of rejection, feeling forgotten, feeling like you don’t belong. Sometimes they take their shape as anger, doubt, or fear, or even as self-pity, self-rejection, and exhaustion. You might then feel powerless, bruised on all sides, and left with an anxious heart.
What am I going to do? Why do I feel like this person doesn’t love me anymore, like they don’t care one bit? How is this going to work out? Why won’t anyone take me seriously? How can I ever trust that person again? These are questions that rise to your heart’s surface.
With every effort, the task ahead of us is to make a conscious decision to move our hearts away from these waves and turn to the One who walks on them. It is he who comes to us in the storm and through the fog and says, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (Matthew 4:27; Mark 6:50; John 6:20).
Although we very much have the capacity to be moved in our hearts, we often must make the choice to be moved in our minds. Right thinking can bring about right living. Therefore if you continue to allow yourself to be anxious with thoughts over things that you can’t control, you also give them permission to rule you. You have the ability to stand centered in Jesus and say over and over again, “No, this is not who I am and these thoughts and feelings will not rule me or steal my joy.”
Continue to turn your eyes to Jesus. Lock in and trust that he will bring peace to your heart. It’s important to not trust him anxiously, but rather with confidence that he is close and he will put your waves to rest. A simple reminder, I know. But the things that threaten to overtake you are the very things that Jesus walks all over. He has overcome them and is overcoming them still.
Depending on the shape your waves take, how can you think differently about them and thus live differently? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.