Sometimes it’s hard for me to separate what’s real from what’s not. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep in mind what’s really important and what’s not. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in all the stress of shows, tests, grades, and pressure and get completely overwhelmed. Completely overwhelmed. Sometimes I can see it coming; sometimes it knocks me over backwards and flips me around like getting hit by a wave at the beach. And then I drown in it. It’s SO easy for me to let that happen, and I know several of my peers find it crazy easy as well.
This world emphasizes with our generation that our future relies on our choices we make right now. We have to get perfect grades and get into the best college. We need to be perfect for people to like us and perfect at everything that is asked of us to be able to succeed in anything we want to maybe do in our lives. These are the things this world is constantly hitting us with. These are the things our generation is constantly drowning in.
I’ve found that when I’m drowning, when I’m exhausted, when I’m anxious, I’m longing for rest that the little sleep I get won’t give me. I’ve found that when I’m drowning, when I’m fighting to find the surface of this crashing ocean, I’m in a constant state of longing for peace to calm the gasping of my lungs for air. The striving for this world’s definition of success does nothing but drain us. It sucks us down to the depths of our oceans until it’s so dark we can’t tell what’s real and what’s not.
Where did our joy go? Where did the excitement for our day and our eagerness to meet new people go that we had when we were six? Why are we no longer kind to everyone we see? Why has the focus gone from simple joy in everyday life and the people around us to rushing through our days to try to reach someone else’s, or our own, vision of success?
When I get overwhelmed and start to drown, I find myself longing to make out His face through the top of my ocean’s waves and swim toward Him, knowing that no matter what monsters I can or can’t see, real or not real, I can see Him. And I can know that He is real. I find myself longing to find that childlike joy in Him and His creation and His creations around me. Pulling ourselves toward Him with all our strength as fast as we can and crying out for Him to lift us up out of our oceans and set us on the high, rocky Cliffside, safely beside Him, is His heart’s desire.
What kind of God is this? What kind of God would wade out to the middle of my self-created ocean and light up the depths so I can see His creation around me, not as monsters created in my head, but as the beautiful ones He has placed there purposely to help me and guide me? What kind of love is this? What kind of love can find me in the depths of my ocean and wrap around me in the dark and calm my fears and pull me toward the surface?
An amazing God with an amazing love, my friends.
And the joke is on this world. Because, you see, He overcame this world a long time ago. He has a vision of success that He wants us to fulfill no matter where this world tries to push us. Some of us have been shown our next step toward His glory, and some of us (including me) have had our plans for our lives turned upside down, making it even easier for us to drown in our oceans. But like I said, He overcame this world a long time ago. He literally parted waters before that. He will rescue and He will deliver.
So that’s my encouragement to my peers this last week before spring break. If you’re drowning in your ocean, look for His face through the waves. Rest in His love and let it wrap around you and pull you up and set you on the cliffs above in His presence. Hold on to hope and hold onto joy. He is real when nothing else seems to be. 🙂
“When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace. For I am Yours, and You are mine.” -Hillsong, Oceans