Revue: Life Tide

“And the Tide Rolls,” © 2018 Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

As a little girl, I believed all things possible.

I saw miracles in everyday moments.

I hadn’t been immersed in church as some children are, and yet, at the close of my elementary school years, I embraced God’s grace with a full heart, with a mind open to God’s wonders, and with confidence in God’s love and interest.

I distinctly remember my first steps of faith…

One school day, after the 31st of October, my fifth grade BFF misplaced her lunch. Now if that lunch had contained a liverwurst sandwich, I’m sure that we both would have rejoiced over the loss.

However, my friend knew for a fact that a treasured Hershey’s chocolate bar nestled at the bottom of that otherwise nondescript, brown, paper bag.

For this reason, that missing sack suddenly became an enormous crisis.

When I suggested that we ask God to help us find her lunch, my friend seemed skeptical. Nevertheless, I insisted.

So we prayed and God saved the day.

Soon, she was nibbling her PB & J, and relishing that delectable chocolate bar. Needless to say, I was overjoyed, and I thanked God again and again.

That day, God showered grace on two 10-year-olds. My fledgling faith launched well. With God, I knew I could make a real difference in this world.

So we prayed and God saved the day.

Then, life happened.  I faced heartbreak that even chocolate couldn’t fix.

Uh, huh. I encountered low tide.  And it seemed my childlike faith had run its course.

I wondered why God didn’t answer my prayers as swiftly as He had for that ten-year-old girl.

Yeah, what about that?  Perhaps, like me, you’ve wrestled with similar questions.

Yet, although at times it seems that God delays answering our prayers, God says our requests do make a difference (James 5:13-18).

And our Savior encourages us to pray at all times and to not lose heart, (Luke 18:1).

Certainly, you and I are to pray through life’s highs and lows.

In His parable of the widow and the unjust judge, Jesus described the kind of prayerful perseverance that should characterize you and me.

Like the unrelenting surf, we are to return again and again to our heavenly Father.

We definitely can depend on Him for answers.  After all, Abba has promised to open a pathway for His children.  He will protect and provide (Psalm 84:11).

For this reason, during life’s low tides, I especially seek my heavenly Father.  In fact, as my strength ebbs low, I allow my life’s outgoing stream to lead me back to Abba’s throne room.

Then, life happened.  I faced heartbreak that even chocolate couldn’t fix.

That’s right. Low tide reminds me to prayerfully acknowledge my dependence on God.

At times, God miraculously and immediately answers our prayers.  And you and I joyfully ride that high tide.

In fact, our heavenly Fathers defense of His children may even strike as suddenly and swiftly as crashing, seismic waves along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, (Luke 18:7).

And in the aftermath, California’s once craggy shoreline crumbles and slides…

Or more significantly, the walls of Jericho crumble.

The Red Sea parts.

Goliath falls.

Yup. God is more than able to swiftly redefine the landscape; He softens the hardest of hearts.

But sometimes, He allows cliffs to erode gradually.

Nehemiah worked steadily to rebuild the city walls.

Daniel prayed daily for his people.

The widow knocked at the judge’s door.

Undoubtedly, life’s stony obstacles drive you and me back to our heavenly Father.

I suspect that is exactly the point.

Just as the waves initially appear broken by the rocky shoreline, we can become discouraged.  But the waves return to the sea and gather renewed strength.

Low tide reminds me to prayerfully acknowledge my dependence on God.

Indeed. As a result of persistent prayer and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we tear down stony obstacles.

Yes, Abba sets life’s high and low tides in motion for my good…

In my Heavenly Father’s embrace, my faith gathers strength.

I persevere.

Abba’s Spirit guides my intercession, (Romans 8:26).  And in His love and grace, God moves mountains.

Prayer, then, propels life’s high tide while the predictable low tide serves to pull you and me back to Abba.

“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him,” I John 5:14-15