“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and
through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…”  Isaiah 43:2
I’ve always been intrigued with the ocean…at what treasures
lay hidden in her depths, at what might be swimming just below the surface and
what all she has witnessed as ships have traveled her distance and storms have
raged from one coast to another.  One
thing that never ceases to amaze me is the constant changing of the tide.  Within hours, I’ve seen the waves change from
almost nonexistent, to grab your boogie-board and come on in to downright
scary.  Through the years, I’ve come to
realize that life can be just as unpredictable and the tides of life can change
just as quickly. 
John 16:33 tells us that “in this world you will have
trouble,” and as much as we may like for things to stay the same, they rarely
do for long.  So, what are we going to do
when the waves start to crash around us or the tides begin to turn in a
direction that leaves us off balance? 
The way I see it, we have three options: 
turn and run, freeze right where we are or keep swimming.
Who likes to be uncomfortable?  Who likes to fight the current?  Nope, not this girl!  I’ll take the easy-going, float through life
days or the adventurous, ride the waves all the way to shore days any time.  But when the going gets tough or the
slightest bit uncomfortable, I’ve been known to turn and run.  It makes sense.  It’s instinctive to just get out of the
situation as soon as possible. The problem is, you rarely get anywhere in life
if this is your go-to method of handling things.  Like the Israelites in the desert, we long
for the comfort of what we know, even if what we know is keeping us in bondage.  The Israelites were all for venturing to the
Promised Land until they missed the food and shelter provided by their Egyptian
slave owners.  Change can be scary and
uncertain but if we don’t brave it, we are certain to miss out.  Often something amazing is just around the
corner from pain, confusion and discomfort so when we turn and run, we miss out
on all that God has planned for us.  We
miss the lessons in faith that come with trusting Him through the ups and
downs.  We miss the opportunity to gain
strength or conquer new territory.  We
miss the adventure.  God wants to do a new
thing in our lives (Isaiah 43:18-19) but it may take being brave and a little
bit uncomfortable.  Do you believe it’s
worth it?
Although I have implemented the Turn and Run in seasons
past, I have an even greater tendency to freeze like a deer in headlights.  Freezing sounds simple…you simply don’t do
anything!  But in reality, being stuck is exhausting!  Often in life,
you feel like you are barely back on your feet from the knock-down of one wave
before another one comes crashing down. 
It can be hard to catch your breath let alone keep swimming but
sometimes that is exactly what God wants us to do.  Keep going, keep trusting, and keep digging
in those hinds’ feet one step at a time knowing He is going before you.  The Israelites were promised the “Promised
Land,” but if it had been up to some of them, they would have stopped just
short of victory because they were afraid of the giants that were surely
waiting for them on the other side. 
Maybe today, the waves around you are giant and it’s hard to see past
them to the promises God has for you. 
It’s scary when we can’t see what lies beyond the waves of our current
circumstances but there is someone who can. 
I’m reminded of one of my son’s earliest encounters with the
ocean.  I begged him to join me in taking
our float to the calm waters of the sand bar but he was too afraid to venture
past the break.  I assured him that while
the waves might be crashing where he stood, if he could just be brave and trust
me by taking a few more steps, he would be beyond the waves and the rest would
be smooth sailing.  He wanted to believe
me but he was too scared.  That’s when
his amazing Daddy came in to save the day. 
He lifted our little boy to his hip and carried him past the scary
part.  God can do the same for you.  He’s big enough to see past your current
circumstances and loving enough to walk you through them.  Do you trust Him? 

John 16:33 seems pretty bleak when we only concentrate on
the portion that says, “In this world you will have trouble,” but the rest says
that in Him we can have peace and to take heart because He has overcome the
world.  Don’t turn back!  Don’t freeze! 
Keep swimming…it’s worth it!