One of my first experiences with swimming in the ocean was when I was about 9 yrs old. I was really enjoying the sand & the waves but when I tried to go deeper one of the waves up-ended me & jammed me into the sand. It was a really painful experience because I was slammed down on my head, spitting out sand, sea water with burning eyes & my sinuses were overloaded with sea water. I was thoroughly discombobulated.
I’ve had a few repeats with this kind of overwhelming experience and sometimes, there can be things in our life that can be like my 1st ocean swimming experience – a physical challenge that is overwhelming, or a financial need that slams us into impossible situation, or a family / relational crisis that leaves us discombobulated. I want to encourage you today that when we hold onto Jesus, He can help us through anything overwhelming. Consider how my dad helped me with learning to swim in the ocean without getting hurt:
After my wave slamming, overwhelming, discombobulating & ocean swimming experience, I ran to my parents on the beach & they checked me over to see if I was seriously injured. They saw that I wasn’t, but my dad noted that I was pretty scared to go back & try the swimming thing again & he didn’t want me to live with this fear. So he took my hand & we slowly walked back into the ocean with the waves coming one after another & I remember being scared but holding onto my dad, super tight. He was very calming, encouraging & super sturdy. When a wave might have been too strong for me, I’d grab onto my dad & I knew that I wouldn’t get dumped again because he was so strong. He coached me on how to walk into the ocean & to time my progress so that the waves wouldn’t be able to pick me up dump me. Consequently, because of his help, one of my favorite places to swim now is in the ocean.
I’m not overwhelmed by the ocean because I held onto my dad & he taught me to not be afraid, to be strong & to work on my timing. The same is true with our heavenly Father. Perhaps this is what the Psalmist is talking about is Ps 42:7-8, “Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers & Your waves have rolled over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.”