A friend commented yesterday about how our emotions seem to come in waves in this time of quarantine. There are waves of grief over what or who we have lost. There are waves of uncertainty, bewilderment about our future. Waves of anger, depression, fear. There are even waves of joy, gratitude that we can be together either in person or online. It feels surreal, that we can be happy, that we can recognize the good in the midst of suffering.
Right now I am sitting on my deck, watching the waves pass through the channel between Maui and Molokai. It is a windy day, the palms blowing, more sturdy trees bent permanently in the direction of the tradewinds. Yesterday’s calm ocean is now dotted with whitecaps. Wind-whipped waves travel past in a never-ending parade.
Maybe that’s the thought I’ve been trying to capture in my brain. Waves never stop. They break on the shore and the tide draws them back out, but the waves keep coming. Steady or wind-whipped, measured in inches or feet, the waves continue on their course.
And here we are in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes it feels like we are drowning, as wave after wave pummels us. Mostly we are keeping our heads just above water. And in the rare moments of calm, we can lie back and float.
Last night, like many nights recently, I struggled with insomnia. My brain has trouble settling. But last night, as I listened to the wind, I imagined myself floating in the ocean. The saltwater buoys me like a baby held in her parent’s arms. God whispers soothingly. He tells me it’s okay to let go, to rest. He tells me I don’t need to struggle to stay afloat, I just need to relax, lie back and let Him carry me.
Jesus calmed the wind and waves with a word. I can trust God to do the same for me, even when it feels like I’m drowning.