Today's Devotional Thought
August 15, 2012 by Rachel Piferi
Waves of Life
We were at the beach recently and I was captivated by a small little boy, probably 4 or 5 years old, who was playing in the water. At first, he was very timid. He approached the water very slowly and he retreated quickly every time a new wave crashed on the shore. I noticed in him a love-hate relationship with the waves. He was intrigued by them and wanted to play in them, but he also seemed scared by their force. As I watched him, he seemed to get braver and braver until he was finally enjoying his time jumping over the waves.
I was particularly intrigued by how he handled getting knocked down by the waves. I noticed the first time that he got knocked down. He was scared, surprised, and had such a blatant look of startle and fright on his face. But despite this startle and fright, he settled himself down and then jumped right back in. He kept getting knocked down. But slowly, the surprise by it dissipated. And every time he was knocked down, he jumped back up and took on another wave.
The waves never stopped. But, every time he was knocked down, he got right back up and seemed to develop skills for avoiding them next time. In fact, he seemed to get more steady every time he was knocked down by a crashing wave because he learned from the last one.
As I watched him, I thought of our lives. Any bit of perseverance, bravery, strength, or grit that I have is there because I have been knocked down by one of life's waves. In fact, research shows that you cannot develop coping skills or perseverance if you do not experience the crashing waves of life.
As I look back at the waves in my life, big and small, I am learning to appreciate what I have learned from them and the good things that came out of getting knocked down. Through various trials in life, we can learn how to truly trust God, how to persevere through despair, and how good it feels on the other side of a trial. As we see in today's verses, we become mature and are completed once we develop the perseverance that comes from getting back up after a wave has knocked us down.
As you get knocked down by life's waves, I challenge you to look at what you can learn from it. In fact, I love the New Living Translation of today's verse. It is: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you now that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (v. 2-3)
When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. And, it is an opportunity for great joy because you are getting the training to become more like Christ.
Sweet friends, use the experience of getting knocked down in life to learn skills that will help you battle the next wave. And more than anything, trust that the Lord is right by your side, holding you up as you battle those waves. And know that He is developing you so that you can continue to stand tall through the waves of life.
The waves of life, like the waves in the ocean, will never stop. All we can do is learn from the experience of getting knocked down and use those experiences as we encounter future waves. Ask the Lord today to show you what you should learn from the waves of life and trust in Him as you experience and grown from them.