Faith is hard. So many have told me that they see faith in me, that it’s one of my gifts, but I just can’t grasp it; I seem to only remember the moments where my faith has been lacking. Still, Jesus continues to whisper to me that yes, I have faith incredible enough to make the enemy hate me and try to steal it from me. He keeps telling me, Satan demanded to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. (Luke 22:31 & 32) The past little while has been one of those periods where Satan is trying so hard to steal me. He’s been planting thoughts that are NOT mine, wearying me, blatantly attacking me, and it all hurts. But I remember the promise. I remember that the hardship will end. I remember that He felt all this on the cross when He was tortured and killed for me. I remember that He said there is purpose behind the pain. Sometimes the promise looks cloudy through my eyes, but I always remember it, always see it and hope in it. During my little trip to the coast, I got a glimpse of all this through His eyes.
- First entering the ocean, the waves are huge and the water constantly overwhelms you. As you get further in, however, the water is more steady, you aren’t as overwhelmed, and you’re growing accustomed to the waves. BUT– sometimes, when it’s stormy, waves will get bigger in the deeper water, too. Maybe my relationship with Jesus is like this.
- Will you still think it’s beautiful when it’s raining? I heard this question so clearly in my spirit as we drove through the little town I’d loved so much on the way up. In the afternoon sunlight, it was wondrous. However, in the morning showers on the way home, it was dreary. Nothing about the town had changed, only my view of it. What I looked back on and wanted became less important to me when I got it back and it wasn’t the same. It made me wonder if I have the same blessings I’m wishing for, only they’re hidden by a little rain. Is He asking me to see past the rain and revel in what I dream?
- A few glimpses out the window looked the same as glimpses I would have back home (like a front yard that looked like a friend’s house, and a roadside cross like one on our usual highway), but I WASN’T HOME. I was somewhere else. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was somewhere familiar. Sometimes this happens in life, too. Sometimes everything looks so similar, like I haven’t moved, but I could be miles from where I was! In my eyes, everything is okay, when really I am so far from where I should be; OR, everything seems wrong and unmoved, but really I am moving forward. I think the message was a little of both for me that day.
- I had no clue how close we were to the ocean (we took a few days away from the coast during the trip), but when it was suddenly next to me I was WOWED. I heard, “I’m right here, I’m over the hill! I’m the purpose behind it! You might not see me now, but just wait until you get over your hill! Find me!” This spoke so deeply into me. It was another piece of the promise He gave me that said there was purpose behind the pain: it’s Him. HE is the purpose, and He is worth it all! Now I know what I’m fighting to find! It was also an answer to the prayer I’d been praying through “After the Storm” by Mumford & Sons.
This isn’t my typical story about the ocean, but it’s the loudest to me. My heart was given hope that cannot be stolen that day, and I am forever amazed by the mercy He showed me. I love you, Jesus.
Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair…