I recently found myself in a season that had me begging the Lord to send me anywhere or have me do anything other than where he has placed me. I mapped out a route to which I figured was the most doable way to escape the impending tsunami from the earthquake that I felt beneath my feet, but before embarking on the journey, I took it before the Lord in confidence that He would confirm it’s what I was to do.
It can be a difficult thing to hear when nothing seems to matter more than your request that is seemingly pulled away from your reach with a one-syllable word; anticipation swelling up within you, only to be left stranded with disappointment and unsure of a possible alternative.
A solution that made sense in my mind, I was sure that I heard the Lord wrong, so I asked him again.
“You stay where I have called you.”
I was standing on the shore facing the wall of a tsunami with bystanders hollering for me to run. How could the Lord not see that I was moments away from drowning? How could he just dismiss a perfectly thought out escape plan?
I was scared and upset, but then I heard His voice sweep through like a whirlwind.
“Have I not given you the ability to swim?”
Those who know me would find this question as humorous as I did, as I was a competitive swimmer throughout my early teen years. Scripture often depicts the Lord’s presence or blessing with the imagery of water (Jer 17:8, Ps 1:3), and I don’t believe it is a coincidence that I often see in hindsight that the moments when I feel like I’m drowning are when the Lord is closer than the breath in my lungs, for he is the breath that sustains.
So, that tsunami came over me, leaving me in over my head as I lost control, but gained the beautiful freedom of surrender as the Lord placed his sustaining breath into my lungs and reminded me how to swim.
I can’t say that I have found my way to the crest of that wave yet, but there is no doubt that the Lord is refining, renewing, and refreshing my spirit as I continuously learn to depend on him to see me through.