I have never surfed before. But just once, my first boyfriend Gordon McKennon lifted me up belly side down onto his surf board. I rode the wave leaning on my elbows into shore …. and I felt like I was flying on the water.
It was one of those early independence days. I was probably about 13. Dropped off at the beach by mama with the same three other girls and four boys I did everything with. There were perfect blue skies, shiny reflective waters, warm sand. Very big smiles. Constant laughter. Between talks about the depth of friendship and how it would never end. Thirteen.
I take a snap shot of thirteen in my mind. I think that is what God is asking of me. Take a snap shot of riding a wave into shore where everything around you is perfect. But everything around me is really not perfect. There are days when insecurities rise up in me. Days when I am speaking, teaching and directing and no one appears to be listening. There are days when I haven’t had a good night sleep . . . for days. Dull and dreary days. Days that I fall short. When I can’t reach. When there is no ladder around to lift me up. When stuff is upside down. And I figure it’s not too hard for onlookers to tell. Days like this . . . when riding a wave into shore is more likely a teary, wet question to God about how I am supposed to ride a wave under circumstances such as these?
God showed me poor Jeremiah who preached to the Israelites for forty years to no avail. No one ever listened or took his advice. No one believed that God would use Babylon to judge Israel’s sin. Because of his message, Jeremiah spent days sinking in mud in dungeons. His life was regularly threatened. Even so, God kept pressing him on to speak. Pressing him on until there was a day when, I think, his entire life’s ministry was affirmed.
Now Jeremiah remained in . . . prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken . . . And the captain of the [Babylonian] guard took Jeremiah and said to him: The Lord your God has pronounced this doom on this place. Now the Lord has brought it, and has done just as He said . . . And now look, I free you this day from the chains that were on your hand . . . See, all the land is before you; wherever it seems good and convenient for you to go, go there. Jeremiah 38: 28; 40:2-4.
Jeremiah’s prophecy came to pass and, on that same day, he was offered freedom. No doubt Jeremiah experienced freedom in His relationship with the Living God, but his days were filled with bouts of insecurity, wisdom rejected by deaf ears, exhaustion and feelings of failure. We get those difficult days, but we also get other picture perfect days. Like Jeremiah’s day. The day the person – – you thought was your enemy – – approaches you, tells you that your ministry has been in truth, takes off your chains and sets you free. Picture perfect days.
Take a picture of your day. Take a snap shot of riding a wave into shore where everything around you is perfect. Despite everything, ride your wave. See the perfection around you that only He can provide. Ride your wave and know that your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Him. Jeremiah 39:18.
Questions: Can you remember a picture perfect day in your life? Have you ever felt like you were flying? Have you ever felt like you were sinking in mud? Do you believe that He will be with you always, even to the end – – until you ride into His shore where everything is perfect? Challenge yourself to embrace both difficult and picture perfect days.
Verses: Jeremiah 38: 28; 40:2-4; Jeremiah 39:18; Matthew 28:20; James 1:2-4