Jetty walks are one of my most favorite things in the world. I love walking out onto those huge rocks stretching out into the water and feeling like I am part of the ocean. This summer, my family and I were in Port Aransas, TX and we made a stop at the jetty. I instantly noticed that there were two very different sides of the jetty. One was calm, while the other had intense, powerful waves. I wondered why both sides were so different, so naturally I Googled to find the answer. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website said that jetties are created to protect beaches from erosion and protect shipping channels from filling with sand. This allows one side of the jetty to have way more waves than the other side. I felt satisfied with my googling and continued my day in Port Aransas TX. Little did I know that the Lord would use this simple curiosity of jetties to speak to me much later.
It was a Wednesday and I was stressed out. I was planning to leave town on Thursday and be gone all weekend; however, before I could leave, there was much to prepare for: I had a test on Thursday, a paper due the following Monday, and a homework assignment due the following Tuesday. I knew those school assignments would take me many hours, plus I had meetings to attend for major exploration, study abroad meetings, and volunteering duties. Stress consumed me.
I was on my way to volunteer, which I do every Wednesday and I called my mom, hoping she could make me feel better and take away my stress. She was encouraging me as always, but I still got off the phone stressed. So, I began to pray, specifically asking God to show up at volunteering that day and also the rest of my day. And that he did. Volunteering calmed me down and I left feeling less stressed.
As I was driving home, my friend sent me a song to listen to that she had just heard called Ruins by Jonathan Thulin. The song talks about your lowest point and how God is still there even though your life is broken. I took the chance right there to continue to throw the pity party for myself which I had been throwing all day long. As the song continued, I looked up and saw a homeless man and the Lord spoke truth. "This man is struggling, he is at his lowest point, he is broken; Bri, I am here in your midst and you are choosing worldly stresses over resting in me and my peace that I provide you.”
I got up that next morning and read Job. Job is struggling because he has had everything taken away from him and he is questioning the Lord and crying out to him. Job has conversations with 4 people; 3 out of the 4 provide reasons why Job is suffering, including that he has sinned, or his children have sinned. However, the last person, Elihu, presents a different argument. He answers the questions Job has asked the Lord many times, “Why am I suffering, Why am I having a hard time right now?” Elihu says…
“By means of their suffering He rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention though adversity. God is leading you away from danger Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food.” Job 36:15-16
Job was too focused on his suffering that he wasn’t able to see that the Lord was working for his benefit. Just like Job, I was too focused on my stress and couldn’t see that the Lord wanted me to allow Him to work in my benefit and give me peace.
A jetty is the perfect representation of life in Christ. The jetty is like the Lord, constant and always there fighting to protect us. The water on either side of the jetty is similar to our choices: peaceful or distress. Every day, we make a choice on which side of the jetty we are going to stand.
No matter what side we choose, the jetty remains; the Lord is always present in our lives.
It is up to us to either make the choice to stand in the distressing waves that are everyday life, or to stand in the peaceful waves of God’s security. When we choose to stand in the distressing waves, we will be attacked at all angles and we will struggle to see the Lord working for us.
But when we choose to stand in the peaceful waves, we are covered with His unfailing love and His promise that our sufferings are for our benefit. We can redirect our troubles and problems to God, who will always present the choice of peace for us.
Next time you walk on a jetty, think of the waves you have been choosing lately and remember…
“He is mighty in both power and understanding.” Job 36:5