Riptides of Life
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." James 1:2-3
I wore my doughnut shaped ring float around my waist running down to the water's edge as the waves chased me back up onto the beach. It was my all time favorite activity to engage in while spending my time at the gulf as a young child.
On this particular day as I was playing, daddy came up beside me looking out into the water at Mama and Tammy as they were enjoying some time on one of our floats, just drifting along with the waves. As his, what I thought was a friendly wave turned more frantic with every gesture. I came up beside him watching them as they paddled their arms and kicked their feet, trying to get back to us but with no success.
Nothing they did was moving them in the direction they wanted to go. It's as if the water was blocking them from easily maneuvering the float toward the shore. As time sped by and they drifted further and further out, I remember the fear on both of their faces and how I became scared myself. They fought with all their strength against this monster that had a stronghold on both of them, causing them to quickly run out of steam.
You know, when they finally gave in and had to rest from all of the flailing arms and legs they drifted far enough back behind this riptide to the calmer water and was able to guide the float down shore and then make their way back to us safely.
Isn't that just like the trials we go through? It feels as if something so much bigger and stronger has a tight grip and you just can't break free from it. Stress and worry, anxiety and fret keep you flailing around to fight through what it produces in your life. You struggle to do it your way, or even worse, do it on your own, never thinking to surrender it to the Lord. The turmoil spins you into a whirlwind of anger and rage, hopelessness and fear where you think all hope is gone. Maybe even questioning God's existence.
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:4)
As I face the trials of life I hope I will let patience have its perfect work, that I would ask God for wisdom because "He gives to all liberally and without reproach" (Ja. 1:5). But know that we must ask in faith, with no doubting, allowing Jesus' strength to flow through us carrying us through those tumultuous waves and guiding our life back to solid ground.
"For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." (Ja. 1:6)
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for your protection over my family all those years ago. Help me to count it all joy when trials come so that my faith can be strengthened and my love for You is engraved more deeply on my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.