Power

"...power belongs to him..."

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"Don't put your trust in violence; don't hope to gain anything by robbery; even if your riches increase, don't depend on them. More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him and that his love is constant." (Psalm 62:10-11)

I watched the surfers treading water in the surf near a lighthouse on the California coast. As they paddled around in their wetsuits they really resembled some of the harbor seals bobbing in the water around an outcropping of rocks. Then suddenly, the surfers would spot a wave approaching, paddle to the right spot to catch it, and display some pretty amazing athleticism and acrobatics as they zoomed in and out in front of the 12-15 ft waves behind them. Pretty impressive... yet none of their antics would have been possible were it not for the power of that wall of water that was propelling them.

When times are good we tend to forget the force behind us -- the power of God's life-giving love at work for and through us. Unfortunately we risk riding on our own laurels and failing to say thanks to the One whose power truly propels us. When times are bad, our anxiety drives us to seek security and hope in whatever "power" presents itself. That's when we become vulnerable to all kinds of unhealthy and even hurtful schemes. I learned something from the surfers about power and faith.

I watched the surfers long enough to tell you that every wave they rode into shore eventually fizzled out, leaving them beached for a moment and then paddling their way back out to deep water and bobbing around waiting for the next opportunity. I like their discipline. They knew the source of their power. Without the wave, they were nothing more than wet-suited shark bait bobbing in the water. They waited for the wave to come, let the power of the wave direct and flow through them, and then had patience and faith to endure the waiting time for the next big wave. Hmm...

I pray that God will help me practice the discipline of the surfer in my spiritual life -- to respond with joy and enthusiasm when I feel the Power of the Spirit at work, and to patiently endure in the "bobbing times," knowing that the power to propel and hold me in divine love belongs to God and that, "his love is constant." How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.

Check out my new video, "Teens Surviving the Storm"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24