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 are great movies full of emotion, hardship, training, discipline, overcoming, and victory. Sounds just like the challenges of life to me.
It’s Thanksgiving day and I am sitting in my chair relaxing after our family dinner, thinking over the last few months of my life realizing that I have been living a surf movie. Especially that one part of the movie where the surfer is trying to get out to the break so that he can ride the wave but over and over he is swept back to the shore all while wearing himself out paddling in the sea.
I decided to look up this surfing thought I was having and I came upon a couple articles with good info but I noticed 4 things about getting to the break so that you can ride the wave that reminded me a lot like waiting for your breakthrough. It’s never easy.!
Here are the 4 things I noticed:
1.Look for Channels -A surfer looks for channels where water heads back out to sea.
He 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.
Isaiah 22:22b…So he shall open, and no one shall shut;
And he shall shut, and no one shall open.
It’s never easy when God closes doors but we must remember that when He shuts doors He also opens doors somewhere else. Sometimes we can become people of such predictability that we lose the wonder of being led by God. We forget He is the God who wants to lead a people who walk by faith and not by sight. What do you do when your God takes you on a journey that feels like going with the flow in an unpredictable and totally unsafe way? He is either sovereign or He isn’t. I choose to trust. We started looking for the paths of least resistance. Little side jobs that came in that paid all the bills one month. The time my Husband took a job that was good work but felt off after a while and he was let go, but that employment kept us afloat for a little while longer. As people in our church began to hear about our struggle we went through a time of learning to let the body of Christ take care of us. These people helped pay our mortgage one month, bought our son school clothes and supplies, and put food on our table many nights. Then my husband was given a load of apples. So we made canned apple rings and asked for donations and again God’s people carried us through another month of paying our mortgage.
2. When the wave dies – get off of it.
If the surfer doesn’t get off dead waves but instead tries to squeeze out the last of the ride he will expend to much time and energy wasting his daylight.
Matt. 6:8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
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 walk away, so we keep at something that is clearly not working. We are afraid of what will happen if we 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 done for 20 years but he didn’t leave. The last 6 years were brutal. It was relationally damaging. It wasn’t working anymore. Having his knee blow out was the only way he was ever going to leave. He is loyal and dedicated to the bitter end. The knee injury was the most pain I had ever seen him in. It was scary. I wondered if he would be ok and if he would ever walk the same as he used too.
Now don’t get me wrong! Crap happens and we need to work on stuff with people. So don’t go using this as an excuse but there comes a time when you know your exit is long overdue. It’s time to walk away. 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
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 brunt force of the waves. It is better to hang out in the shallows and wait.
Ps. 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Everyone wants to get out into the deep! We can not forget that we learn much in the shallows while we ask Him 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. 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 to go deep. Some of the lessons are that you have to let others in. You have to rest in the One who can be trusted. You have to learn to write the lessons so that we keep them and worship Him through the waiting.
Last Saturday I went to the prayer ministry at my church called Prophetic Intersession. 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.
4. Paddle with purpose – taking advantage of 1,2,3
In order to make it to the break, the surfer must take advantage of all that the surfing guru has taught him and those things together he can paddle with purpose and ride the wave!
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.
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 and we have to use the tools God gives to our advantage before we ride the wave. It’s time for us to start paddling with purpose.
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 leaves us 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: We 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: We must learn to wait on the Lord and discipline our minds and hearts by fixing our eyes on Jesus. When we learn to love sitting in the silence with the King we receive from Him what we could never get going in on our own and in our own strength.
The breakthrough came for my family Monday! We have been paddling with purpose and we have finally made it to the break and it time to ride the wave! My husband said that all he has heard from the Lord since he hurt his knee in March has been “hold your shorts, I have something tailor-made for you.” Did I say March? Yes …MARCH! He starts on Dec. 11th. This job has medical, dental, vision, 401k, and many more benefits. It will be 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.” I am very excited for him. Also, we had Thanksgiving with a family that we have been estranged from for several years and tonight was the first time it felt like family in a long time. I was nervous to go but my daughter said “Mom, you go and make an effort” and I thought to myself “let’s see what God can do” so I prayed about it. Asking Him for peace and a heart that sees them how He sees them. I heard the Lord say to take the heart candle, volunteer to say grace at dinner and light it in the honor of family giving thanks for them all. After that, the atmosphere shifted. God is so good! I love my family.
Come up next week, I have a big announcement. So stay tuned.
Thanks for listening,