When we first moved back to the USA from Mexico City, we spent about 6 months near the East Coast of Florida, and we took advantage of that time to take the kids to the beach every once in a while. If you’ve ever been to the Atlantic Ocean, you know that the waves and undercurrent are very strong, especially for little kids (and dads that have little kids draped on their arms).
Kids and Waves
I would take each of the kids by the hand—usually one at a time—to brave the waves and walk in the water against the waves. Every time the wave would hit us so hard that it would knock them over and I would hold on to them for dear life while trying to stand my ground. It was terrifyingly fun—for a while. We did learn one truth during our time in the waves, though. They are impossible to stop.
After a few minutes walking out in the waves, I taught Nathan how to simply go with the waves and stop trying to resist them. Once we were out in the water, we could jump when the biggest of waves came and just enjoy them. We could swim with them and ride them into shore, and it was a lot more fun than trying to stop those strong waves or resist them.
Waves and God
I was thinking about the waves the other day when I read Acts 11:17. Peter is bringing his report to the church in Jerusalem about what had happened in the house of Cornelius. As he defends his ministry to the Gentiles, Peter recounts what happened when the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, and then he says, “If then God gave this same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
I love that question. “Who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” Too often I think I can (and should) stand in God’s way because I put my own plans in front of Him or I try to limit what He wants to do in my life. There is no way to stop a wave from reaching the shore. If you try to stop a wave, it will roll you over. In the same way, you cannot stop God. His will and His way is best for you and for me. Our best interest is to be like Peter and stay away from trying to stand in God’s way.
It is much more fun to ride the waves than it is to resist them.