If you live near the water, as I do, weather advisories like this one are not uncommon. As I read through this information I was struck by how many parallels with life we can find in these simple words.
“HIGH SURF ADVISORY – A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN THE ADVISORY AREA…PRODUCING LOCALIZED BEACH EROSION AND
DANGEROUS SWIMMING CONDITIONS. SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD. IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT, RELAX AND FLOAT. DON`T SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT. IF ABLE, SWIM IN A DIRECTION FOLLOWING THE SHORELINE. IF UNABLE TO ESCAPE, FACE THE SHORE AND CALL OR WAVE FOR HELP.”
The first thing I saw was how high surf affects the beach. Beach erosion happens gradually but during a storm or high surf, it can happen much more quickly. Have you ever stood with your toes in the sand and had the water wash over them? The sand under your feet quickly erodes away and you sink further and further into the sand with each wave. Such a good picture of a life that is not built on a firm foundation.
Next, we see that swimming is dangerous. Riptides are a hidden danger. The pull of the current is not visible from the shore. The energy produced under these conditions can pull even the strongest swimmer into a life-threatening situation. The advisory recommends swimming close to a lifeguard. In life, who is our lifeguard? Jesus, who promises to keep us safe in every circumstance.
And what should we do if we get caught in a riptide? The advisory says we should relax and float, not try to swim against it. In life, we face the threat of undercurrents of sin and temptation every day. Sometimes we heed the warnings and stay clear but other times we think we are strong enough that we won’t be in any danger we can’t get out of on our own. And when we find ourselves in deep water with no strength to get back to shore we look to the Lifeguard. We rest in His strength and float knowing He will rescue us. We face the shore and call for help.
It all reminds me of an old hymn that sums it up nicely.
My Hope Is Built
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
Jesus tells us clearly that our lives need stability that only He can provide.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)