Have you ever seen those movies where a guy is struggling in life and he meets the surfing guru and gets all wrapped up in the excitement and the vibe of conquering the surf? Yeah, these types of movies are great. They are full of emotion, hardship, training, discipline, overcoming, and at last victory.
This sounds just like the challenges of life that you and I face.
I have noticed 4 things about surfing that are like waiting for your breakthrough:
- Look for Channels -A surfer looks for channels where water heads back out to sea.
Isaiah 22:22b…So he shall open, and no one shall shut;
And he shall shut, and no one shall open.
The one who surfs is looking for the opportunities in front of him where there is less resistance and he is able to use the current to his advantage. It’s never easy when God closes doors but we must remember that when He shuts doors He also opens a door somewhere else. Sometimes we become people of such safe predictability that we lose the wonder of being led by the God of Heaven. We forget He is the God who wants to lead people who will walk by faith and not by sight. What do you do when your God takes you on a journey that feels like going with His flow in an unpredictable and totally unsafe way? These situations cause us to decide that He is either sovereign or He isn’t. Will we trust Him or not? I choose to trust.
When our family entered into one of these seasons of life where what we believe is tested we started looking for the paths of least resistance. My husband was our of work and it was the little side jobs that came in that paid all the bills one month. Then when my Husband took a job that was good work but felt off after he had been there a while and he was let go, but that employment kept us afloat. God had provided. Then as the people in our church began to hear about our struggle.We went through a time of learning to receive and to let the body of Christ take care of us. This family of people helped pay our mortgage one month, provided our son school clothes and supplies, and put food on our table many wondering nights. Then my husband was given a load of apples. So we made canned apple rings and asked for donations in return for some cinnamon apple rings and again God’s people carried us through another month of paying our mortgage.
We must learn to look to God to be our provider and see the open doors He has created. Sometimes that looks like less than you desire and often feels like a humbled heart of gratitude.
2. When the wave dies – get off of it.
Matt. 6:8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
If the surfer doesn’t get off a dead waves but instead tries to squeeze out the last of the ride,, he will expend to much time and energy wasting his daylight. Don’t waste your time trying to keep something alive that is dead. Too often we don’t want to “look like a failure” or we fear what others will think if we let go and walk away. So, we keep at something that is clearly not working. We are often full of fear and afraid of what will happen if we do walk away. What if we stop? What does it say about who we are if we give up? I believe God created us in such a way that we are able to hear Him. He speaks all the time. Are you listening? If you stay at it longer than you are anointed to do it then you could end up with a catastrophe like we did.
My husband had known for many years it was time to leave the career he had been in for 20 years but he didn’t leave. The last 6 years were brutal. It cause damage to the relationships involved. It wasn’t working anymore and he wasn’t moving on. He stepped down off the truck on day and his knee gave way. Having his knee blow out was the only way he was ever going to leave. He is loyal and dedicated to the bitter end. This knee injury was the most pain I had ever seen him in. It was scary. I wondered if he would be ok or if he would ever walk the same again.
There comes a time when you know your exit is long overdue. It’s time to walk away. Don’t get caught up in the fear and worry of what others will think. Trust that God knows how to tell you its time. Walk and be free to let God lead.
3. Right timing – Find a strategic place to wait for the wave
Ps. 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
For the surfer, he doesn’t want to be in the breaking zone while he is waiting to ride the wave. If he does then he will be hammered by the brutal force of the waves. It is better to hang out in the shallows and wait. Everyone wants to get out into the deep! We can not forget that we learn much in the shallows while we ask the Lord to take us a little deeper. If we try to get out into the deep before it is time, just like the wave rider in the movies, over and over he gets out there before he is ready and gets thrown about and almost drowns. How often we forget that we can not do or go where God is taking us in our own strength? He must retool us for the next move. So we wait on Him. It takes more courage than we can comprehend to wait. Just try to sit in silence for 5 minutes and listen to your thoughts run wild. You will be surprised how every ounce of your flesh and soul wrestles with you. Waiting brings a tumult day and night that you “have to do something.” It will steal your sleep and try to drive you crazy in an effort to push you out of the shallows before it is time. The thing is, it is in the shallows that you find Jesus. He is always there when we are stuck in the waiting. He is in the waiting and He is doing things spiritually in you that you can not know with your natural understanding. He is teaching and training you. There are some things we must learn in order to go deep. Some of the lessons we learn is that we have to let others in. We do not walk alone. We are a community of people called the body of Christ. You have to learn to rest in the One who can be trusted. You have to learn the art of remembrance so that we keep the lessons and knowledge we’ve learned and worship God through the waiting with thanks and praise.
I had went to the prayer ministry at my church. I came a little early to just pray on my own and worship the Lord. They prayed and interceded for us. It was an encouraging time in the Lord. We must learn to let others into our situations ask the people of God to intercede on our behalf.
4. Paddle with purpose – taking advantage of 1,2,3
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
In order to make it to the break, the surfer must take advantage of all that the surfing guru has taught him. All those things together he is able to paddle with purpose and ride the wave! God is the Great Teacher! He has been at this training of people since the beginning. He has good plans for us. He wants to give us a future and a hope but there are some things that just have to change in us and we have to use the tools God has given to our advantage before we ride the wave. It’s time for us to start paddling with purpose.
Real quick here are 3 things to help us paddle with purpose:
- CULTIVATE GRATITUDE: Too often we are busy complaining about the closed doors. Being overly focused on what people have done to us and our rights rather than looking for the open doors in front of us. When you do this it leaves you focused in all the wrong places. He has laced our pathways with grace packages and opportunities to show off His love for us. We must cultivate a heart of gratitude toward His sovereign hand that leads us on when we can’t see the way through.
- BE BRAVE: Watch for when you have become too comfortable. We do not like change nor do we use the power of change to our advantage. We fear failure and worry too much about what other people think. We can’t ride a wave if its over. It’s time to see the truth about our situations and let go. We have to be brave enough to trust in the goodness of God that endures continually and let Him take you, in His timing, out to the deep.
- FIX YOUR EYES: You must learn to wait on the Lord and discipline your minds and hearts by fixing your eyes on Jesus. When we learn to love to sit in the silence with the King, we receive from Him what we could never get going it all on our own and in our own strength.
When the breakthrough came for my family we have been paddling with purpose and we had finally made it to the break and it was time to ride the wave! My husband said, ” All I have heard from the Lord since I hurt my knee in March 2017 is “hold your shorts, I have something tailor-made for you.” Did I say March? Yes …MARCH! He started his new job on Dec. 11, 2017. This job has medical, dental, vision, 401k, and many more benefits. It’s the first time in his life having that kind of job. He has the skills to do the job and he said: “everyone I have met has been so kind and congratulating.” God has been so good to us. If you are in the waiting – Take heart! God is always up to something good! Watch for the opportunities God is bringing, get off the dead waves, wait for His timing, and paddle with purpose. Then watch God do far more exceedingly above and beyond what you could ask or think!
All is grace,