Like many families during the summer months, we visited the beach for a family vacation last year. This was a time of relaxation, bonding and just having some fun. As expected, we spent most of our time in the water and building sandcastles in the sand and the rest of our time checking out local spots and catching up. What was not expected was the incredible lesson that I learned while sticking my feet in the ocean.
There I stood with beautiful, cool sand between my toes. My boys were splashing in the water and running from the small waves coming into the shore. Their laughs and happy screams were infectious. I was so busy watching them, I missed the good-sized wave coming my way. This was not the large wave you’d ride on your surfboard, but it was large enough to knock this momma off her feet.
As I tried to recover my footing, I found it more and more difficult as the water went back out to the sea. The soft, cool sand that was so nice to stand on a moment ago was now dragging my feet down and causing me to struggle more and more. As the ocean water finally left me, I was able to pull myself up and stand again.
I walked a little further into the ocean and found myself standing on a large rock just under the surface. It was hard with crevasses and barnacles attached. The rough surface hurt my feet, but was secure and unwavering. I studied the rock and it’s imperfections. In many ways, it was as beautiful as the sand and in some ways it was even more so.
As a enjoyed the views and the sound of my boys laughing in the water, another wave came crashing towards me. The rushing water caught me off guard again, but this time I didn’t sink. This time I didn’t lose my footing. Instead, I dug my feet to the crevasses and my hands tightened their grip on the shells firmly attached to the large rock.
As the water washed back out to sea, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me. “Like the smooth, beautiful sand, this world offers something that seems secure and beautiful. It looks inviting and fulfilling. The world feels soothing and flawless, but when life’s waves surround you, you will be quickly taken under. The Rock, MY Rock, may be hard and not as pleasing to the eye, but offers true security. Like the rock you stand on, your walk with me may not be easy, it may not always feel perfect, but it will hold you up with the waves crash and give you secure footing to weather the storms. Hold on to ME and you will never find yourself being overtaken.”
I stood there contemplating the words of our Heavenly Father and I began to cry. I see that each hardship, each crevasse, provides a place to dig into when we begin to lose or footing. I see that each scar or barnacle that attaches to us in our life provides place to latch onto when the next wave hits. God uses the trials and tests to build the exact set of skills, gifts, and experiences we need to bring HIS story to life. Remember that the next time you feel like this world is pulling you under.
Psalm 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be alert. Be firm in the Christian faith. Be courageous and strong.
1 Corinthians 15:58 So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Psalm 93:5 Your statutes, LORD, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.
Galatians 5:1 Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Psalm 119:89-91 Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.