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When The Wave Crashes

Please don’t mistake me for a surfer, though I do love to play on a board or body surf out in the Gulf. There is something captivating about the way a wave crashes over you. Sometimes they quite literally can take you captive, pulling you under when you didn’t think it carried that kind of power within it. All in a swift, single moment. Waves can be scary huge, super small, sneaky, fun, and soothing in how they sound. When it comes to the crashing, you better hope you are standing on solid ground.

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Pensacola Beach has been a part of my life since I was born. The beach has always been a safe place for me to let go and let God. In my early years I didn’t realize the true gift the beach was. I took advantage of the days where there was no one else sharing the shoreline with us. The days where the sunset made a masterpiece in the sky while I built drip towers with wet sand. Nowadays I can drive out to the beach and my mood shifts instantly.

I don’t think I knew what I had, until desperation kicked in. I had come face to face with something bigger than me, and I needed a source that could soften the blows of life. Luckily, the vast greatness of creation is accessible to us just from walking outside. Nature was where God certainly would be. Sometimes in other places He can be hard to see. Since tapping into this gratitude of the world that exists around us, I see God so much clearer in everything. I now see something special about a foot print in the sand and am convinced that the stumbling is all a part of the plan.

I often wonder if there are others out there like me, that see the world a little differently. It’s easier for me to love everything. I crave to see the world as God wants me to see. Disclaimer, this is not easy to do, and I like the challenge it puts me through. I’m challenged to think about the beauty. I notice the ugly, see the unnecessary, and pay attention to the untrue too. No one is perfect after all. I try to focus on what’s in front of me so I can be present in experiencing the way God has designed life to be. This is a relationship with our Creator that I want for you too.

The funny thing about waves, is every single one is different. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how many you’ve seen, or what you know about them. Waves are unexpected, full of power, and consuming. Y’all know the only one more powerful than the waves themselves? If you guessed Jesus, you are right.

There’s a reference in the the book of Mark 4:37-41, where Jesus actually calms the waves and winds. And y’all wanna guess what the people in the boat did after all that? They STILL were in disbelief that Jesus could do all that. No matter how many times the waves are going to knock us down, Jesus remains in the boat the entire time. Even if it seems like He is sleeping and could have done something about it, we have to trust that He’s got us.

What do you do when a wave comes crashing?

Do you try to run to dry land?

Do you dive right in?

Having grown up by the beach, my reaction to crashing waves has changed with me. My friends used to convince me to play in the break on the big stormy days. Though it’s not common to have much surf on Pensacola Beach, the big wave days always seem to haunt me. The ones where the wave crashing brought me fear. The type of wave that knocks you down and leaves you thinking “no one can save me here.”

My response looks a little different over the years. Instead of fearing what is crashing on me, I remember that Jesus is with me. No longer do I find myself concerned with the sinking of the boat. I’m certain that Jesus packed the life raft and He will keep my spirit afloat. This doesn’t mean I don’t still have days where I panic, or question the Creator aboard the boat.

3 ways to take on the waves;

  1. Swim up – There is only one direction you should be heading when a wave crashes on you. And that is up. You have no business staying underwater any longer than you need to. Gods hand is ready to pull you up.
  2. Steady yourself – Though the ground may be moving out from under you and the wave is growing as it gets closer towards you, prepare. Learn to brace yourself. Gods armor will protect you.
  3. Seize the stressing – If I’ve learned anything about getting caught in a rip current or pummeled in the waves, it’s the famous ‘’Don’t panic’’ line (gets me every time). Controlling our stress takes lots of practice, especially with a culture that encourages trying to thrive in high stress. Mark already told us that Jesus can calm the situation. Gods peace is available to you.

The best part about the waves is that they come in sets. Thankfully there are lulls and periods of calmer days where the waves don’t crash. They’ll gently lap up to the shore, revealing tumbled seashells, some complete little treasures, while others are left tattered from the swell. May the unhurried rhythm of the waves be more manageable for you. I encourage you to invite God in the next time a wave crashes on to you.

Local Pulse Writer & Holy Moments Columnist, Makenna Curtis