Sea Billows Roll

My family is not a “beachy” family, but we’ve taken a couple of modest beach vacations. My favorite time at the beach is the height of dinnertime when most folks are at restaurants. I love to go into the water when few people are around and simply bob around in the gentle waves. 

One evening I was doing this when a small group of young teenagers ran onto the beach. My guess is they were some combination of siblings and family friends, and you could almost hear echoes of the conversation that had taken place five minutes prior. “C’mon Mom! We’ve been in the car all day -- can we just go out on the beach for 30 minutes before dinner? Please, please, please?” 

They ran straight into the water, but the waves that evening were more energetic than usual for that beach. The teens laughed good-naturedly at each other’s attempts to stay upright as the waves tossed them about. Clearly this was not an activity they had done many times, if ever. Two of the girls got a little farther out than the others, and suddenly one of them was completely bowled over by a wave. She tumbled hard enough that my Dad instinct kicked in, and I watched carefully to make sure she came up OK. She stood back up, wiped her eyes, and steadied herself -- clearly a little shaken by what had just happened. I heard an embarrassed laugh, and I knew she was OK.

She stopped rubbing her eyes and turned around to find her friend. What met her eyes instead was a vertical wall of water that was inches away. I think the wave smacked the side of her face at precisely the moment her brain said, “Hey, that’s another wave.” This tumble took her about halfway back to shore; and this time when she stood up, she walked directly to the sand to sit down and regroup.

Have you ever gotten in too deep? Have your hopes ever been dashed by a wave only to have the next one hit before you’d recovered from the first one? I suspect the year 2020 has felt that way for a lot of us.

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me. The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night - a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:7-8 HCSB)

Do you feel like you sometimes can’t “see” God’s love in a dark time? Do not lose hope. His song is with us in the dark night. Let’s face the waves with clear eyes and strong voices – and sing!

By Mark Stuart

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