My husband and I watched a drama on UP Channel a while back. Though Swell (2019) wouldn’t rank among my all-time movie favorites, the grandfather’s response to his doctor’s prognosis saying he had weeks, maybe a month to live, was worth mulling over.
“Life’s funny like that . . . kinda like the ocean.”
The doctor’s eyebrows momentarily lift. “How’s that?”
“Well, for one thing, it’s big. Comes in waves. Tide’s always changing; it’s unpredictable. Like life sometimes, it can just seem so blue and vast. Empty.
"But if you dive down beneath the surface, it’s filled with life. Ah, you can only ride that wave for so long till you gotta take that drop." He makes a slow and graceful gesture downward with his hand. "Ya gotta, whe-e-ew . . . drop in, carve it out. Y’know what I mean?”
Can’t say I knew his exact meaning. But I knew what the Lord dropped into my heart in that instant. Life on this earth is big—too big, too complex to survive on our own. Problems come like ocean waves, one right after another. Except these waves are unpredictable, often violent and insurmountable. Unlike skilled surfers, we feel the pressure, anxiety, and fears associated with not knowing how to read each problematic wave, much less know how to ride them safely to shore. It’s little wonder so many drown in the attempt.
That’s why—especially now—our inner life with Jesus is so vital. People can only ride this world’s swells for so long before they either crash and burn, or they whe-e-ew dive in and find that there is another Life going on beneath the churning, crashing surface. The one who believes in me (Jesus), as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him (John 7:38).
Eternal life is going on right now. It is our underground, secret, continual communion with God. It’s where we can leave our anxieties, and fears, and cares of this world—and find the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; . . . (Psalm 46:4 – 5).
We already know all this. But from time to time I need that little reminder to stay in its flow.