My brother and I had spent the day bodysurfing with most of our small town at Waikkiki Beach. I looked away from the surf for a second, laughing with him. Without warning, with the force of a speeding truck, a wave crashed into me. I was scraping the ocean floor in the iron grip of a monster.
I was a strong swimmer. Qualified. Experienced.
Surely, I was more than a match for the Pacific.
I kicked, flailed and fought to no avail. Time seemed to slow as panic pumped adrenaline through my system. It was hopeless. I was being tossed and pummeled relentlessly, completely powerless to help myself.
As desperate as I was to survive, I do not know how or why I stopped fighting. All I know is that giving up saved me. As quickly as she had seized me, the mighty Pacific spit me out. My face broke the surface. After a few moments sputtering seawater, I was free. I could breathe.
Straggling to the shore, I discovered that my plight went unnoticed by my family and friends. The whole ordeal lasted less than a minute.
My life has been like that single, inflated moment I lived in the grip of the ocean.
Never turn your back on God.
I am analytical, wise in my own eyes, and full of pride. Strong. Qualified. Experienced.
Surely, I am more than a match for my Creator.
I behave that way sometimes. I reason, plan and worry the way I kicked, flailed and fought the ocean-all in vain. I am in the grip of a power that I cannot comprehend or resist. As relentless as the tide, God is too good to let me go my own way without correction.
God is God. Far beyond the power of the ocean, His way is certain, unchangeable, and perfect. I can drown battling that which cannot change or I can rest, trusting that all things work together for good for those of us who love Him and live our lives according to His purpose.*
When I surrender all, my King propels me upward through the pain and fear. As I did many years ago, on the shore of the Pacific, I break the surface and breathe.
*Paraphrase, Romans 8:28
Debbie O'Connor lives just north of New Orleans with her husband, Jim, and their two children. Jesus has been her savior for 18 years. Contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.