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At The Water’s Edge

May 17, 2011

Have you ever seen a toddler out on the beach?  The first time we took our daughter down to the ocean, she was about a year old…she could walk, but in all honesty, it was more of a controlled stumble.  She got up to the edge of the water, and as the ocean is known to do, the edge of the water didn’t stay put.  There was this movement that a child of twelve months couldn’t quite get a grip of.  And, as probably happens with most children, she followed the water’s edge to where it stopped, and to her surprise, the edge of the water began to rise and chase her…and her controlled stumble became much more of an uncontrolled tumble.  And thus, our daughter learned about the tides.

 Take a moment and read through Romans 8:28-30 today.

 There is no doubt that our lives can seem a lot like that tidal rhythm we see on the ocean shore.  We go through seasons where everything seems to be sailing along…safely on the edge, completely secure, or maybe even with our toes in the coolness of the water…just testing it out.  And then there are these periods when, just like our little girl that day, the water rises and we find ourselves in a tumble through life that is anything but comfortable…the coolness of the water becoming the raging of a storm upon us.

 We both sort of raced over to pick her up…and as we scooped her up, she coughed the salty water out of her mouth, wiped her little eyes, and really appeared to be okay with the whole ordeal.  And to be honest, she was okay until we tried to put her down.  You see, despite the fact that she appeared to be alright, she wasn’t the same person.  All she wanted was to be held.  She didn’t mind being near the water, but she wanted nothing to do with those waves…she just wanted to be held, because she knew where it was safe…she had a deeper understanding of the realities of life on the shore.

 The same happens for us in our lives.  We go through trials…some even stronger than a Hilton Head wave…and what we see on the other side is that our Father comes to us…scoops us up…and we have a greater understanding of where it’s safe.  Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:6-7, that we should rejoice in those trials…that they serve to “test the genuineness of your faith.”  The sufferings of the present age are not to scare us, or to cause us to fall away, but rather to increase our faith…to draw us closer to the Father, and “to be conformed to the likeness of the Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”  C.S. Lewis, in talking about suffering said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  Do you hear that?  Now listen, Lewis isn’t Scripture, but he has it right here.

 Eventually, our daughter let us put her down…she even played on the shore…but that was because she knew it was safe for her…because we were there.  That’s faith.  That’s what God is reminding us, even during the rough times…especially during the rough times…that He’s there, and that it’s safe…He’s increasing our faith.

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