Riding the Waves


As I looked back at this video that I took just three weeks before lock down, I immediately feel nostalgic. I remember being so stressed over work, studying again and my kids school activities that I needed to go to my happy place. After work, I took the 5km drive to Sun Coast Beach. It is ridiculous how close we live to the beach, yet we hardly have the time to visit regularly. Despite the fact, my family love the beach. The beautiful fresh ocean breeze, the sound of the seagulls, the majestic waves crashing on the shore, is always therapeutic and liberating. My best time spent at the beach though is swimming in the ocean! My body engulfed in the cool, clean, crisp water on a bright sunny day, is a place of heaven. What's more is that you cannot beat the waves at our magnificent Durban beaches. Incidentally, my nephews and son taught me the best ways to enjoy swimming in the waves.


The first wave they taught me to look out for, is the most dangerous wave. You can see it coming and know that it is going to crash before you, and then take you down! Once you experience this wave you will never forget what to do next. With this wave you must wait until you see the calm right before the break. You should then dive deep into that calm space, and undoubtedly you will come out the other side escaping all the chaos above and around you.

I remember that kind of wave well! I remember not knowing what to do as the wave crashed right over me. It took me down and spun me around. I flipped over and over and over. I came to the point where I did not know which way was up or down. I then felt my knee scrape the sand. I put my foot towards the sand and shot up like a bullet out of the water. I caught my breath. I could feel my lungs expand and I let out a huge exhaling breath. The right thing to do is dive right through it every time or else!

The second kind of wave is the wave to catch. This is the wave that grants you power. It is something beautiful and you are immediately drawn to this wave. When this wave starts to form, you swim to this wave, find the calm right in front of it, you turn around, swim on your own and then you immediately connect with the force of the wave. With very little effort you ride that amazing wave all the way to shore! It is indeed exhilarating!


And finally, the third wave that I had to look for was the rolling wave. As you roll over these waves, you lie back in the calm water and enjoy the peace and talk to the people around you. You become aware of God’s magnificence and grandeur. I miss the beach!


Reminiscing about these waves, remind me about three things; letting go and letting God, and discerning his voice.

The first wave describes when things are about to crash before you. Covid-19, the Lock down, loneliness (even in the amidst of people), anxiety and negative thoughts can all but overwhelm us. Learning to find that calm before this wave of negative emotions hit, and diving deep into the stillness to find God, assists us in getting rid of the chaos. David, Moses and Job are a few of the Greats that experienced the stillness of God and encourages us to do the same.


Psalm 46:10 David said, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Exodus 14:14 , Moses exclaimed, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still"

Psalm 37:7 David breathed, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;"

Psalm 62:5 David cried, "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him."

Job 6:24 Job said, "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray."

Psalm 131:2 David declared, "But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me."


How do you become Still?


Firstly, follow the the most basic routine of getting up and getting dressed at a designated time, getting some sunshine, eating enough and as healthily as possible, getting enough sleep and sticking to a regular bedtime, and getting enough exercise.


Secondly, I know how difficult it is to hear the still quiet voice of God in these chaotic times. You only need to turn on the television and you are perplexed with the vast number of covid-19 cases on the rise. Social media is flooded with fake news, and this does little to decrease our anxieties. And the negativity does not stop there. However, here are 6 steps that I follow to be still.


Relish, Review, Repent, Request, Resolve.


1. Relish

Find a quiet place. For 5-10 minutes, be attentive to your breathing and your need for peace and quiet.

- Keep your phone on silent to the notifications of Watsapp, You tube and Social media. It is unbelievable as to how addictive we have become to the sound of a notifications.

- Clear your mind of Netflix and TV series bingeing. I am so guilty of Netflix bingeing. I get so caught up in the series that I can not even hear my kids call me.

- If you have kids, choose a time when your kids are asleep or busy.

- Take the necessary steps to rid your mind of distractions.

- Awareness- is the state of being aware, or having knowledge of something. Become aware of your own breathing and your environment.


2. Review

Briefly review the day since you awoke. Ask yourself, what drew me close to God this day? What pulled me away from God this day? What went on within my heart? What was the day like overall?


3. Repent

I briefly note and ask for pardon, peace and mercy for those times that I was not the best version of myself, where I fell short of being who I want to be, and if I hurt someone. This is important since letting go, of past hurts and unforgiveness is healing.


By this stage, it is like diving deep into the calm of the first wave, your mind is free from the chaos around you.


4. Request

I ask the Lord of Merciful Love for assistance, for help in anything small to large. I ask Him to come to my assistance.


5. Resolve

I imagine what I want to live the rest of the day (or tomorrow) like, with God’s help and grace. I begin to read my bible. I praise, adore and thank God for the many ways He has been present in, with and near me.


This is the second wave, where I experience the presence of God over my life. Where I resolve to let go and I let the Help of the Holy Spirit carry me through to the shore.


I am Phillipians 4.13.

“I can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"


6. Finish

This is the calm in the 3rd wave. Its laying back and listening to the still small voice of God. This is the part where creativity occurs, when ideas are born, art is created, and miracles happen.

In each of these three life lessons I have learned that connecting to that greater force I call God puts me right where I need to be. Where I can share my gifts with others, count my blessings, and thank God for this miracle called life.


Be still, Be strong, Be Safe and Stay Blessed.

Prayer

Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God.

Let my mind and heart, be silent before You, resting in Your sovereignty. Teach me to wait for Your still, small voice and quiet the earthquakes and blazing fires in my life.

Replace my restless doing with inner calm, and help me, to sit at Your feet in quiet adoration even if there are a million things clamoring for my attention. In Jesus name. Amen

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