I’ve never surfed a wave (as a matter of fact I doubt I could even stand on a surfboard for more than a second), yet I do find it fascinating to watch those who really know what they’re doing. There they are, lying on their boards patiently waiting for that really big wave to arrive. They feel the lift of the swell and then move from their lying positions to standing upright as they swiftly maneuver towards the shore racing on top of the water – wow!
But I’ve certainly seen surfers getting slammed too. They lose their balance or start to panic, and the next thing you know the board goes flying in the air, and they go plunging deep into the huge wave. Then you wait – where are they? Did they lose consciousness? Are they okay?
Isn’t that just like the Christian faith walk? You are riding high on the waves of blessings coming in one right after the other, and then whammo-slammo, you find yourself buried underneath the water struggling to get back to the top.
That certainly happened to us not too long after we’d been blessed so mightily (OK, My Cup’s Brimming Over!)…
It was midnight and all of a sudden Gary started feeling very agitated with pains in his chest and shortness of breath. I quickly called my brother-in-law who rushed over to stay with Jeffrey, and I rushed Gary to the ER. His blood pressure was fluctuating all over the place, and the EKG came back abnormal. What was going on?
The physicians in the local ER were still befuddled by early the next morning, so they arranged for an ambulance to transport him to Swedish Hospital in downtown Seattle. Swedish performed an angiogram – but found nothing! No clear answers were forthcoming, so they loaded him up with meds and sent him home.
This was not good… Jeffrey was still in his straight-leg splints from his surgery, and the doctors had told Gary absolutely no heavy lifting for 1 week. Wonderful! Now I was going to have to try and move Jeffrey around all by myself.
How did I handle it? Not well… On more than one occasion I was ready to completely blow my top – or just run far away to some remote isolated location – depending on the moment.
But wait – during this time of discombobulation something else was happening to Gary! Gary’s not typically much of a book-reader, but one night he decided to grab Max Lucado’s book Just Like Jesus. Max testified in his book that sometimes in his busyness he forgets to sit back and let God do His work.
Gary experienced one of those moments when all of a sudden the dimness of the light bulb suddenly gets brighter. He told me that he felt God had allowed all this to happen as a wake-up call to him. Gary felt he had been pushing God away – but in his “stubbornness” (his word, not mine!) he hadn’t wanted to admit it. He felt that God was reminding him that he needed to stay focused on what’s really important: God Himself.
After that revelation, we both found it difficult to sleep that night, so Gary got up and went into his home office for awhile. What did he do? Read the Bible and the testimony of Josh McDowell!
He told me the next morning that he felt the Lord had directed him to Psalm 103, which Gary said he’d previously been in the habit of praying all the time while traveling at his prior job, but had gotten away from it. So that day he went back to work with a renewed commitment to leave the stress up to God for He is in control!
How did this all effect me? Well of course I was totally convicted, as I realized that I hadn’t been spending quality time with God lately either! Why? Oh, I’d been too busy, and just too tired… But aren’t they the times when we should be with Him the most?
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV (emphasis mine).