I remember this one time I went to the beach with a friend. I wasn’t feeling particularly well but decided to go anyway. So we drove down the highway to edge of the Georgia coast, parked the car and strolled towards the ocean. I decided to go ahead and get in the water after a few minutes of letting the sun bake my melanin well-done. As I began to get into the water, I felt the smoothness of the waves that seemed to lift me up and set me back down as they passed through me. After enjoying God’s creation for some time, I decided to head back to shore. As I’m doing that awkward swim-wade-walk thing you do when the water is not deep enough to swim but not swallow enough to walk normally, I remember a wave coming out of nowhere and crashing into my back. Normally, waves may just push you a little bit, your friends would laugh at you for looking foolish and you get back to the shore with a mouth full of saltwater. But, being sick, this wave basically almost killed me. Ok, so probably not killed me, but it did hurt. And it did actually knock the air out of me. After I composed myself a bit, I was able to make it back to shore but had to rest for a while. It’s funny how the same wave that once felt like a gentle hand that carried me over the ocean floor could in the next moment turn on me and become a hard shove to my fragile body. Waves can carry; but they can also crash.
Lately, the waves of life have been crashing against me hard. They have come in the form of crippling fear and intense hopelessness. Both realities are caused by believing in the lies of the enemy and both seem to crash hard every day. The fear has mainly affected my sleep. I lie awake at night wondering if someone, or something, is out there. Waiting. Lurking. Out to get me. It keeps me up at night, affects my rest, and causes deep senses of condemnation and sadness as I feel like a failure every morning. Shouldn’t I be able to get past this? Why is my faith so weak? What is wrong with me?
The hopelessness stems from the false belief. It tells me that I’ll always be alone, and that its my fault. It tells me I’ll never get a good night’s sleep again. It accuses me of not having enough faith and yells that I’ll always let God down. It foreshadows a future where my sin causes shame and disappointment. It tells me life will never get better and that there is no hope to have.
Lies. All lies. Obvious lies. Subtle lies. Attractive lies. Ugly lies. Why are lies so easy to believe? Because, generally, they match how our flesh views the circumstances we are in. These lies may point out a part of the truth, but they never tell the full story. Being single does sometimes mean being lonely, but being single does not equal hopelessness. The dark can be scary and could be full of threats, but none of those threats are stronger than the God I say I believe in. Why can’t I see those truths? Because my eyes are on myself and my circumstances and not, instead, on the true promises of God.
For my hopelessness, God has promised me a hope in Jesus Christ. He says my singleness is a gift, not an issue to despair over (1 Cor. 7:7). He says that I have everything I need for life and godliness in Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:3), and that He uses ever single event in my life for His glory and my good (Romans 8:28). Jesus came to give hope, and if I am given Jesus Christ, then there is nothing else needed that my Father would not give me (Romans 8:32).
For my fear, the Lord is a shield (Psalm 28:7; Psalm 33:20). He does not give a Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He is the glory and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3) . He gives rest to His children and protects them as they sleep (Psalm 4:8). They have no reason to fear the terror by night, or the arrows by day, or the pestilence that stalks in the dark (Psalm 91:5-6). The Lord provides armor to fight the enemy. And Jesus has disarmed the powers of this world (Colossians 2:15) and has overcome the world (John 16:33).
These are the truths I have try to tell myself as the waves crash into my back. They are the truths I try to gurgle up as the water sometimes seems to fill my lungs. They are the truths I cling to when the enemy wants to knock me off the solid rock that I hold onto for dear life. They are not truths I have held onto well, always, but they are truths none the less. Even now as I write this, I can hear the lies of the accuser telling me my faith is weak and that I don’t truly believe these verses that I quote. And maybe thats true, somewhat; but it’s not the full story. In Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). When I am faithless, he is still faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). My faith, as small and weak as it may be, still allows me to see power of God (Matthew 17:20). He is Truth; and Truth always outweighs lies. Lies aesthetically hold weight but when placed on the scale next to truth, always comes up extremely lacking.
The crashing waves are moments to remind yourself of the truth. The enemy uses the waves to disrupt you, disorient you, and to destroy you. But the Lord allows the waves to crash into us so that we can crash into Him, the solid Rock. He does not allow them to overwhelm us, even if He does allow them to crash into us. We may be submerged, but He will never let us drown. He knows we are dust, and we have a sympathetic High Priest in Heaven named Jesus Christ who sees our trials, who is concerned for us, and who asks us to cast our cares on Him. So tell the truth. Our Savior still saves. Even as the waves crash.