by Roberto Ponce
I was blessed to go to Florida on a beach vacation with my family a few weeks ago. I enjoyed taking my family, particularly my three-year-old and five-year-old daughters, to see the “sea” for the first time. It was fun!
As a dad, I loved watching my kids build sand castles. To me, they looked more like unrecognizable piles of sand, yet the girls referred to them as “castles.” The kids also played in the water by jumping above the waves, and my ten-year-old became an expert boogie-boarder.
The tide represents creation as God intended it: perfect, controlled, and beautiful for all humanity to enjoy. It also represents life at peace—when everything goes well. It is then you are on “cruise control.” You are healthy, you have provision, and blessings are upon you.
As I was sharing this special moment with my kids, “Sea and Spirit,” a blog written by Carolyn Hittenberger, came to mind, particularly this part:
“In all of nature God has set boundaries, structured limits to prevent the chaos that would result if each part of creation were left to find its own place, to decide at whim where and what would be its domain. . . . Unceasingly the sea strikes at its sandy boundaries and is drawn back again by an irresistible force.”
But what happens when the storm strikes, when the tide becomes a tsunami?
The tsunami represents the storms of life. I have never understood what I call the “happy-go-lucky” gospel some preach. Basically their message is that if you are a Christian you will lead a victorious life, you will be blessed, you will prosper financially, and you will be protected at all times. This is simply not true.
We can find beautiful promises in the Bible, yet bad things happen to wonderful Christians. Consider David Wilkerson, a great servant of God, who lost his life tragically in a car accident. The apostle Paul clearly describes in Romans 8:35 that bad things do happen to those who love Christ:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
My tsunami year was 1994. I lost both of my parents when was only 20 years old. I remember clearly when God gave this Bible verse to me, as I was sitting in the car outside the grocery store in Tegucigalpa, Honduras:
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
While this verse provided me with peace and hope at the moment, I never quite understood it until an American missionary explained the word and promise God had for me: “When the storm strikes, eagles are able to fly above the storm.” This brother in Christ had lost his 13-year-old daughter unexpectedly.
That day he prayed that God would lift me up above the storm as God had lifted him. Years later, I can tell you God did. It was not easy, and I still miss my parents dearly, especially my mother to whom I was very close. Yet God has been faithful. Always remember Jesus’ promise:
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20.
Roberto Ponce is director of communications at Global University. For more information about Global University go to www.globaluniversity.edu