Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Walls of Water

This post has everything to do with water. 

It has everything to do with preparedness.  

It has nothing to do with fly-fishing. 

Sorry to disappoint.  
Today I was saddened to hear all the reports from Indonesia concerning the earthquake, volcano eruption, and tsunami that have pounded them over the last 48 hours.  A triple tragedy. The death toll was nearly 300 last time I checked with hundred's more missing.  
My heart hurts for those people tonight.  

Tragedy is a hard pill to swallow and in my opinion can be one of the biggest obstacles to our prayer lives.  When we experience personal heartache, it is human nature to question God's involvement.  Consequently, my inability to understand a situation can cause me to pray without boldness.  Sometimes, it's like I start to ask God to intervene in a situation and the devil reminds me of my disappointment.  
I take the bait.
I think that God can take our questions. He made us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Last post, I shared about my desire to be more "effective" in my prayer life.  I don't think any of us want our prayer requests to return void. 
At Bible study, on Monday, we talked about praying in "clauses." I read a devotional by Lysa Terkeurst the other day on this topic.  I could very much relate.  Do you pray like that ever?  "Dear God please heal so-and-so, but if not, then please just...XYZ."  I thought long and hard about her devotional.  It's like I need to soften the blow for myself, by giving God an out.  If God chooses to answer me in a different way than I want Him to, well, I'm already expecting the disappointment.  Do you do that or is it just me?  I realized that personal heartache and tragedy can derail a BOLD request.  The truth is, I don't understand some things in life.  It's hard to watch people in pain. It's hard to be the one suffering as well.   
 I shared Monday night at our bible study about a dream I had had last week.  Don't ask me why, but in the dream I was in North Carolina.  Apparently I was enjoying a nice vacation at the beach.  I was standing on the porch gazing out over the water. 
 The waves were crashing, teenagers were surfing, and children were building sandcastles along the water's edge.  I watched the tide come in and suddenly it was sucked back far into the ocean.  My heart dropped into my stomach.  As I realized what was happening, a tsunami, I saw a 10-15 foot wave racing toward myself and others on the beach.  I barely reached the second floor of the house when the first wave hit.  It pummeled the house and rattled the beams of the frame house.  I held on and prayed that the wave would not be strong enough to carry the house away with it and subsequently me.  Relief filled my heart as I realized I had escaped without harm.  However, when I looked out the second story window, I watched the water recede again far into the distance.  The unthinkable happened.  It was a second wave.  

Unlike the first, this wave towered over the height of my vacation home.  I froze. Fear surged through my body as I stood awestruck by the ominous wave.  As the wave approached, it grew taller.  There was no way that I could escape this time.  Before the wave completely engulfed me, I looked up to the sky and said, 
"Well, God, I guess my time is through.  Jesus take me home."  
The truth is that we all have a proverbial wall of water headed for us at some point in our lives.  Those walls can be in the form of cancer, humiliation, death, divorce, or financial hardship.  We live in the devil's domain.  When the wave hits, there are only two things that really matter.  Have you given your life to Jesus?  This affects your eternity. How much time have you spent getting to know Him through His word and prayer?  This affects your ability to combat your wall of water, to deal with the aftermath. 

"...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you."  
Isaiah 43: 1,2