Tag Archives: isaiah 40

To See the Sea

“Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,” 

Psalm 148:7 NIV

For five days I have lingered, listening to the sound of the ocean, watching the waves that are never and always the same dance to their self perpetuated music.  Calming, peaceful, constant… I am conscious of my every effort to open up, take it all in and tuck it away for safe keeping for the days that I will not have the pleasure or ability to do so.

The ocean.  I’ve walked beside it, waded into it, sat in front of it and stared for countless hours upon it. It is beautiful and soothing to my inward most parts.   I’ve pondered it’s depths and width and length.  The sheer vastness of it is humbling, reminding me in one swift glance of the greatness of  our God.    Surely the ocean is an adequate earthly reflection of the power, glory and majesty of the Lord.  And even as I walked upon the shore discussing these things with Him, He reminded me that this is only one of many beaches, shores and oceans that exist by His creative power.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:12

Spending time at the ocean causes me to become quiet and introspective- at rest.  I am visually reminded in splendor that there is so much that is bigger than me and beyond my ability to fathom, comprehend or understand. When I am beside the ocean, I find that I am able to let go of the wrestling that so often occurs in my head and my heart ever striving to try to understand everything that I do not,  working to try to figure everything out and trying to be in control of everything that I’m really not.

When keeping company with the sea, I am able to just let go and “be.”

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10 

The truth, is that I’m no more capable of “figuring it all” out in the throes of everyday life than I am here in the presence of the sand, seashells and sound of ocean waves roaring in my ears.  Somehow though, I forget.

I can spend countless hours thinking…about how to get things to work out the way I want them to.

I have spent countless hours worrying…about how it will be if they don’t.

So much wasted time and energy on that which is unproductive.

And so, today I am thankful for the ocean.  I am thankful that it stretches so far out that I cannot see the end of it.  I’m thankful that it is so deep, even at it’s beginnings, that my toes cannot touch the bottom.   I’m thankful for the way that it tosses and turns, as if it has a schedule of its own rising  higher or diminishing as the day grows long.  I’m thankful that I have no control over the sea.

This truth offers me a life-giving reminder that it really isn’t my job to be “in control.”  It is only my job to BE.

To BE still and know that He is God.

To BE obedient to His every leading.

To BE quick to hear and obey His voice.

To BE diligent to hide His Word in my heart.

To BE His daughter and everything that that means.

Father, thank you for the beauty of the ocean.  Thank you for the beauty of the truth that all that I must BE is a child of the King.  

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Filed under Christian Growth, fear, worry

What Doesn’t Kill You

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.  But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint    Isaiah 40: 29, 31 (NKJ)

Recently, while flipping through the channels, the music on a commercial caught my attention.  I can’t recall what they were advertising but the chorus of the pop song they had chosen  to highlight their product consisted of the words “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Sung by a young and gifted musical artist to a catchy beat the lyric was offered in a way that at least made me want to start dancing around my living room.

Flashback to fifteen years ago.  A young wife and mother-to- be I struggled to bear the weight of the baggage from my past. Traumatic abuse throughout my childhood led to many residual issues that included deep depression, severe anxiety and Bulimia to name only a few.  The combination of obstacles to overcome simply to live a “normal” life left me constantly feeling overwhelmed, distraught and discouraged.

In the effort to obtain help from the Body of Christ I shared my testimony many times as a precursor to the question of “How can I get better?”  “How can I lead a normal life?”  “How can I overcome?”

More than once, taken aback by what I had shared and in the absence of something of value to say I was offered the quick response of “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  This offering was almost always served with a heaping dose of either sarcastic humor or serious conviction.  Sometimes, the more spiritual variety would tag along “Well ya know, God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I can still remember the type of emotional response these answers would illicit within me.  With biting sarcasm fueled by bitterness I would often respond ” If this is what it takes for me to be strong…I would rather be weak!”  Less giving in my thoughts regarding God, I would often think that if He thought He hadn’t given me more than I could handle then He simply didn’t know me as well as He thought He did.

The truth is that, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a lie.  Sometimes, often in fact, what doesn’t kill you has the ability to maim, disable and disfigure you leaving you limping and broken for the remainder of your days.

You see, it’s not what happens to you that makes you stronger….instead, it is God’s ability to bring healing despite what has happened to you.  In the miraculous way that He does He is well able to take what the enemy meant for harm within your life, and mine, and use it to bring life to many (Gen. 50:20).

As children of God we have a crucial part to play in this redemptive equation.  We must allow ourselves to be healed.  Although the exact journey to be traveled differs for each one, there are similar pit-stops that include surrender, forgiveness and obedience for all.  It’s in the hope of healing that we find our strength.  It is in the knowledge of God’s ability to bring healing in the absence of our own ability to make ourselves better that we find that hope.  As children of God we are strong not because of what happens to us, but because despite what happens to us we can be assured that Our God is mighty to save (Zeph. 3:17).

Father, thank you for your faithfulness to bring healing to the broken.  Thank you for being the source of my strength.  Thank you that even when I feel weak, I know that I am strong in you and in the power of your might. 

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