Psalm 107:28-30 - Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.
I remember going to the beach as a kid. I was in the water playing all day long, riding the long, rolling waves, dipping my face below the surface. It was great fun until ... the tide rolled in. The little waves I had just body-surfed had turned menacing and, before I knew it, they were pounding into the shore, one after another.
When the first one hit, it came crashing down on me, driving me below the surface. I got my head above water, gasping, only to be thrust back down beneath the water again. It seemed like an eternity of being pummeled by the waves before I finally made it to shore—bruised, exhausted, breathless—but safe.
These days the "waves" come in other forms: project deadlines loom; bills are due; my wife's complaining that we're not spending any time together; and the kids—precious as they are—have turned into little monsters.
When I express my situation to a friend, he quickly checks my concerns with a litany of his own. Another tells me, "It'll be okay." To that I mutter, "Thanks. I'm better now." A third—someone I look to for advice on occasion—says she'll pray for me. Finally, the guy on the radio tells me it's a faith issue: I'm not trusting God enough with my life. (God, have mercy on us radio preachers.)
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going through this. Life can be overwhelming sometimes—a lot of times. When the moment finally comes when you think you can breathe, another wave comes crashing down. I've tried holding on to things for a sense of security, but my job, possessions, money, and relationships have not been the answer.
Then one day, tired of desperately groping for worldly answers, I looked to the One who faced more than I'll ever know, Jesus, and I saw how my sin was forever in the way. My spiritual brokenness became a reality, and I knew that God did not leave us stranded, condemned under the Law. Instead, "God has done what the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:3-4).
My hope now is in the promise of new life available to those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. And the funny thing (though I didn't feel it was at the time) is that God used the waves, the battering surf, to break down my defenses and false hopes, to bring me to a point where there was no hope left but to trust in Him.
And to think, He'd been there all along.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when our lives are tossed about by this world's stormy seas, remind us that You are there—ready to pull us from life's turbulent waters. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by a contributing writer from Lutheran Hour Ministries.
1. Describe a time when life overwhelmed you?
2. Have you ever pleaded to God for help? When and why?
3. Is there truth in the phrase, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"