Monday, April 6, 2009

He Calms the Waves of Sorrow

I am traveling with my oldest daughter. We are spending some long promised and much needed time together, one on one. It is a huge gift to have this time with her. It is like a sigh of relief and refreshment nestled between two parenthesis in the story of my struggles.

However, tonite I am having a hard time sleeping. My heart is stirred by a series of thoughts that I have concerning the sea and its waves.

I love the ocean beach. Today, we were walking along, looking for shells and sand dollars. The wind whipped around and through my jacket, crackling like cellophane. A storm blew in earlier, and the salty air seemed to hang heavy and thick against my skin. My hair curled in every direction, its natural tendency to do so accented by the moist air. The water was warm in contrast to the cooler air, and the waves lapped at my legs and feet.

It was the lapping of these waves that seemed to connect with my sorrow and grief that still remain deep within my heart. This is the reality of life. Joy in one aspect of life can run parallel to deep sorrow in another, and I have learned that it is ok.

Waves of sorrow or grief or whatever we may experience as a reality to the losses that we may know, can be like the waves upon the ocean beach. They rush forward crashing on the beaches of our hearts, and then ease back in to the sea. Rhythmically, but not methodically, they come. Sometimes, when the storm is great, the waves come rapidly and fiercely. Other times, when the seas are quieter, they still come, gently rolling in and pulling back, but still coming.

I noticed as the waves ease in and out, that they bring with them broken shells. These shells, large and small, are remnants of what once was whole. In our waves of sorrow, they may be dreams and longings and hopes, now shattered. They tumble along the sandy bottom of our souls, sometimes covered, sometimes exposed.

But once in awhile a treasure comes in on the waves, and if we are looking for it, we can find it. A whole sand dollar. A star fish. A sea urchin. Incredible in how God created it, we appreciate it for its beauty, and for the part of the landscape that it represents.

So, too, in our sorrow or our grief, treasures are washed ashore. They may be unexpected and we can choose to search for them. They may be new dreams or experiences that God is gifting us with. They are a part of His story for our lives, and they have a beauty of their own. They, too, are a part of the landscape amidst our grief.

Dear reader, perhaps today, you can relate to this sense of sorrow welling up inside of you, crashing on the shore of your heart. What to do? Acknowledge these feelings and ask Jesus, a man acquainted with your sorrows, to accept them in to His care. He will tenderly take your troubled heart and wrap His strong and mighty hands around it.

Psalm 89:9 says "You rule over the proud sea. When its waves surge, you calm them." Slowly you will begin to see that the waves of your sorrow begin to turn into waves of His care, and the gentle lapping of His love will wash over you and give you rest.

And for me, tonite, as I finally rest my head on my pillow, I acknowledge that God has given me a treasure in my sorrow today; I have time with my daughter, to pour invaluable love in to her life, just like that which He has poured in to mine.

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