The warm sand beneath my feet moves slightly. The solid ground proves safe and secure. The warning flag cracks from the strong wind. The warm sun and blue sky provide peace yet cause me to question the next step.
The waves crash rapidly and I can feel their ocean spray. The majestic white crest of each crashing wave seems to beckon me. The laughing and giggling of those already drenched brings excitement to me and mine. “Undertow lurks in the vast sea” the lifeguard warns. I stand not so sure of what is to come. My children, who do not come with such a comprehensive warning system, pull me to where the water meets the sand.
The cool water washes over my feet and just as I begin to enjoy the fresh water, the sand starts to shift. I can feel the undertow as my feet begin to sink in the wet sand. I move my feet quickly toward the dry sand, but the confidence of my children reassures me enough to take the next step.
With hands held tight, I venture into the first wave. The wave crashes over my knees and then I feel the water from the shore rush back out to meet the next wave.
“Jump, Mommy,” calls my littlest one who has left fear at the shore and enjoys the heart-beating thrill of trying to jump the waves. I can’t help but smile at the joy she has. My grasp begins to loosen. She longs to jump the next wave all by herself.
Challenges come and go like the waves crashing on the shoreline. We can wait on the solid ground and watch others enjoy the thrill that comes with meeting God in the waves. Jesus quieted the storm in Mark 4:35-40 and I believe He can do it again if the waves are too high and the threat of drowning imminent.
But, we grow through the challenges. My little one always held a tight grasp of my hand in the face of crashing waves, until today. Today she stands ready for the next challenge, one she feels confident to conquer, so she loosens her grasp.
In the face of challenge, we often meet fear. God is there. Within the pages of God’s Word, 365 times, we are told to “fear not”. Once for each day or once for each wave.
No matter where God has you, on the shore, where the wet sand meets dry, or in amongst the waves, remember:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)