Learning to ride a wave in the uncertainty of life

surfing

Ever had that sinking feeling where the pressures and challenges of life seem to slowly push you under the waves? or that the circumstances around you seem to destabilise, just when things seemed to be going okay? Sometimes we feel that we cannot take anymore with pressures of jobs, finance, children, husbands and homes . So, how do we keep everyone afloat in times of quiet desperation and doubt? when, we may not be in a great place ourselves? I am currently a mum of two , I have a baby girl and a four year old , already within the last year, my husband has been out of work twice . I took it upon myself to try and resolve (and control) the situation by travelling 400 miles to an interview in the back end of nowhere, on a blustery and stormy day. Looking bleary eyed after no sleep the night before, and after a solid four hour drive, I had to show that I was ‘really keen’ on the job and was interviewed by a panel of seven key people in the community. In my haste and eagerness to provide financially for my whole family, I made a decision out of frustration and disappointment and a place of unsound reasoning. The outcome, much to my relief was that I wasn’t offered the job anyway. Rather than waiting and relying on God to provide for us, I needed to control the situation . This sort of behaviour always ends badly for everyone.

In my life before having children, I used to be an outdoor instructor and I would often try many exhilarating sports, one of which was surfing. Think of a surfer, she needs core stability and strength in her arms and legs to balance and power the board, she needs good timing to know when to catch the waves, she needs a cool head when the waves get big and she needs to know that if she fails, she can try and try again . Similarly, when we are learning to ride the waves in a challenging situation in our lives, we need to put our hope and trust in God (Psalm 71:5). I have found if we put our trust in our temporal circumstances rather than eternal values that are unseen, we will never hold up in a storm. In order to exercise our core stability we need to build and exercise our muscles on the ‘cornerstone’ of Jesus Christ and if we rely on these promises, we will ‘never be stricken with panic’ (Isaiah 28:16). It can be helpful to meditate on Jesus’ promises in his Bible to get through the difficulty. Understandably we will wobble a bit here and there, but in order to not fall , we need to be sure that God loves us and wants us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). In the failing, however, we can be sure that God has something much better in mind for us. We need to know that when we are scared, we can be ‘dependant and lean on his ways and not our own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5).

The truth is God will never let you go and he cares far too much for you, he says ‘you are far more valuable than the birds of the air’ (Matt 6:26). When you are riding on a wave , it can be the most amazing feeling, but as soon as you look down and take your eyes off the shore and look at the how big the waves around you , you soon feel doubt and uncertainty as to whether you will make it or not . Jesus reminds us to ‘fix our eyes on him, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith’ (Heb 12:2). As easy as it is, we must try not to blame anyone or anything as to why we are in that situation , this will not resolve the situation but only make it worse . It is in the waiting and praying that God’s Holy Spirit will lead us into place of better understanding. Remember this may only be for a season, what is God trying to tell you? This is not easy and you are not alone. Bring your trusted friends around you and remember when you are surfing with others, you are more likely to be able to ride on those waves, high or low, whatever the circumstance. Jesus said ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9).

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