I love the mountains. I like looking at them. I like hiking through them. I like them from a distance. I like them up close. There is something about their size, grandeur, and unpredictability that is absolutely captivating to me. Needless to say, I prefer mountains to water.
However, I can’t help but remember a trip I took to Hawaii years ago after high school graduation. My parents decided to stay on the boarded sidewalk and I wandered toward the sand beyond our resort. My dad used to always tell me to “blaze your own trail,” and so I find sidewalks overrated.
I walked along the shore, letting the gentle waves wash over my feet and the breeze play with my hair. I vividly remember taking deep, slow breaths, and basking in the aroma that filled the air and soaking in the symphony that was composed on that Kauai beach.
As I stopped to stand still in that moment, doing my best to take heart picture of the peace I felt, a wave crashed over my ankles and my feet sank deep into the sand. The sand tickled as it settled between my toes and as the water receded, it became firm, securing itself around me.
Another wave came, forcing its’ way in between the sand and my feet, causing my feet to sink deeper still. And as it that wave receded, more sanded covered my feet and solidified by stance. I was surprisingly secure and stable. My feet were deeply planted and despite various waves that came and went, I stood perfectly still.
Then I got to thinking.
That’s life for the believer.
Waves of change come. Relationships end. Jobs are lost. Hearts are broken. Sickness threatens well-being. Loneliness masks opportunity. Visions of the future are obscured by the bleak views of the present. Waves come. They stir what was settled and they provoke you to raise a foot; to sidestep their approach.
I would know because I am a master-sidestepper. I have a black belt in avoidance. It’s tragic really. Because every time I raise my foot and replant it, it rests on the surface, completely vulnerable. But if I, if we would all, just stand still and let the water wash over our feet, pressing us deeper into the love, grace, and truth of Christ, we would be steadied. In the midst of change, we would be solidified in our foundation–that is our faith.
I know have a tendency to take various forms of nature and make really ridiculous metaphors out of them, but… that’s just me.
There’s this song called “Washed by the Water” by my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE. And the chorus simply says,Even when the rain falls, Even when the flood starts rising, Even when the storm comes, I am washed by the water.
Water cleanses us; it refreshes and revives us. Throughout scripture, the image of water is used to bring renrewel and life to that stagnate and lifeless. Whatever a wave may bring, may we learn to anticipate the old life is will wash away and the renewed faith it will produce.
Have a listen…