Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trusting When the Waves Pound

“The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice, the floods lift up their pounding waves. More than the sounds of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty.” (Psalm 93:3–4, NASB95)

Walking in the aftermath of the passing of a loved one or some other traumatic event in some ways can be like getting hit by a rogue wave while walking on the beach. Initially it may seem like a constant storm, but as time passes the storm gives way to healing and adjustment. There then becomes a certain amount of ebb and flow that happens during our days as we move further away from the incident in both time and healing. But even in the increased adjustment there will likely be those moments when a wave of emotion crashes in and you are reminded of your loved one or the way things once were.

These moments demonstrate the ties we have in our lives and how important they are to us. This is true of our relational ties to our parents, spouses, children, and close friends. It is also true of our ties to our health and physical prowess or our ability to work and provide or be provided for. There are no clean lines of separation in any of these because so much of what we do is woven throughout the lives of others and our activities. Any significant change to one has an impact on the others.

The question then becomes, “How will we adjust to the daily walking and then to those heightened moments when the waves hit hard?” And the answer for both has to do with our trust in God and the hope we have in Him. If we trust Him and look to Him in the daily routines, it becomes more and more likely that we also will look to Him with greater confidence in those more intense moments.

I remember lots of days of walking and bouncing in the break water at the beach as I played in the water. Most of the time I found that I had firm ground under me. But occasionally the water would come in a little harder and I would be knocked off my feet, maybe even stumbling. After possibly floundering a bit I would get my feet back under me and continue with my fun (actually it made it more fun). Sometimes, however, I might have been in a little deeper when losing my balance and I had to figure out real quick which way was up. Again, it was a matter of finding the bottom and replanting my feet. As I moved out further and the water would get over my head and I was no longer in contact with the bottom, but treading water, even then if I got disoriented it was still a matter of keeping calm, figuring out which way was up, and then moving in that direction. And of course, as a young person I would spit out the water and do it all over. The thing that made this so acceptable was first of all that I knew up from down and secondly that I knew how to navigate between them (learning to swim and paying attention to my surroundings).

Life as a Christian is intended to be lived with our eyes firmly on God and trusting Him no matter what may be going on around us. It is also intended that we do this as people who hide His word in our hearts, learning His statutes and ordinances, and growing in wisdom which He freely gives. Our God loves us so incredibly much and He gives us what we need to navigate this period of time between trusting Him for our salvation and hope and that time when our hope will be fully realized and salvation results in glorification.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14, NASB95)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7–8, NASB95)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (12/29)

Trust Me with every fiber of your being! What I can accomplish in and through you is proportional to how much you depend on Me. One aspect of this is the degree to which you trust Me in a crisis or major decision. Some people fail miserably here, while others are at their best in tough times. Another aspect is even more telling: the constancy of your trust in Me. People who rely on Me in the midst of adversity may forget about Me when life is flowing smoothly. Difficult times can jolt you into awareness of your need for Me, whereas smooth sailing can lull you into the stupor of self-sufficiency.

I care as much about you tiny trust-steps through daily life as about your dramatic leaps of faith. You may think that no one notices, but the One who is always beside you sees everything—and rejoices. Consistently trusting in Me is vital to flourishing in My Presence.

“How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.” (Psalm 40:4, NASB95)

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3–4, NASB95)

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalm 62:8, NASB95)

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3–4, NASB95)

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