How to run from waves

One fine day, my wife and I took Kristen, our 13-month-old daughter, to the beach. It was perfect, beautiful weather. As we strolled down the sand, each holding a little hand, she excitedly smiled and chattered in that special encrypted language of hers.

As we got to the water and the first little wave rolled over her feet, her expression suddenly changed. The water was considerably more frigid than the sand, and unsure of what to do, she stood absolutely still until the sand eroded under her and she fell on her bottom with a thud. We picked her up with a laugh and a hug, then waited for the next wave.

Now she started anticipating and would turn to run when the water began to close in. Here I noticed something interesting. Kristen would turn and run to one of us, in spite of the fact that she had to get through more water to reach us than just running straight back to shore. Even when she had to struggle through what to her was knee-high water, she would choose running to us over what seemed like immediate relief. And we would meet her halfway, making sure she stayed safe.

What would entice a little girl to brave more of the very thing that scared her, rather than take the “quick and easy” way out? I think it is simple trust. She trusted that we would take care of her, and that being with us in the midst of cold water was better than trying to get to shore alone.

Often when a problem hits me, my first reaction is panic. I stand absolutely still as my mind sifts through options, and I end up falling and failing. Then, the next time I see a problem coming, I’m tempted to run as fast as I can out of the situation. But as you know, situations have a way of catching up and still sweeping us off our feet. So what’s the solution? I need to follow my daughter’s example and face the problem boldly. That doesn’t mean facing it alone. Beside me stands my strong, capable Savior, and He can hold me up despite any “wave.” I just need to quit trying on my own and run to Him!

When I am weak, I can be strong through His strength.1 Jesus is still the master of the winds, the waves, and any other elements that besiege our lives.2 So let’s go to Him right away when we see the tide coming in. He won’t let us be overwhelmed.3

  1. See 2 Corinthians 12:10.
  2. See Luke 8:25.
  3. See Matthew 14:30–31.