I’m under a tidal wave. I’m not even treading water. I’m being swept about, rolled on the sandy bottom, battered by waves and stung by jellies. It’s not supposed to be this way.

We were on spring break last week and spent some time at the beach (Thanks Alabama!). On day three of our trip I was sitting contentedly with my toes in the sand when it occurred to me that I hadn’t lifted one burden that I’d left at home. Hadn’t mulled over one decision. Hadn’t gnawed on one worry. For three days I had been blissfully free and unaware…of life, of duty, of expectation. I was at rest in the security of a God who was rolling each wave to shore in a perfectly uninterrupted concerto of sound and light, enjoying the dance of an ocean breeze. It simply had not occurred to me to recall one detail of my ordinary life. I didn’t consciously turn it all over to God, I just plain forgot about it as the miles ticked off under our wheels and the salt breeze began to tantalize. When I remembered all I had left back home, I didn’t care. I was on the beach. All those concerns were at my desk. And God was over all. (Insert a sigh, and the sound of waves here.)

Today, I’m that man that James describes being tossed and blown this way and that by a stiff wind. I just can’t seem to catch a break – or a breath. What happened? When did life begin again? Why did I pick it up, mull it over and gnaw the bone? The same God who handled the pause in my life is surely capable of handling the momentum that is now dragging me out to sea. Right?

Who shut the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt?” (Job 38:8-11)  

This is the God I need right now. I need the God who empowered His son to say “Peace! Be still!” and the wind and the waves obeyed Him. Oh me of little faith. Why am I so afraid?  I’m afraid because I’m trying to swim against a rip-tide instead of allowing myself to relax and float to the surface. I’m being drowned by my own effort to stay on top of the waves that would swamp me. I simply can’t trust that it’s possibly true that I’m allowed to do NOTHING, and God will do everything.

Right now as I pray, “Lord! Help my unbelief!”, I’m going to roll up my pants-legs, wriggle off my shoes, slip on my shades and a wide brimmed hat, and I’m going to go lay flat out on my patio and do absolutely nothing. God said I could trust Him to hold the tide at bay, and that it’s OK to float sometimes. I don’t see any walking on water in my near future, but this much I can do in faith. You too?