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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.”—Psalm 42:7 (NIV)
As an avid surfer in my youth, I developed a profound appreciation for and a healthy fear of the ocean. When conditions are right and the swells roll in at heights of more than 10 feet, they thunder as they meet the shoreline, unleashing the momentum of thousands of gallons of moving water. It’s both breathtaking and intimidating for those who venture out into sizable surf.
It’s part of the reason I love today’s verse; it captures the sheer power of God’s creation. I know what it means to be swept over by massive waves and feel completely powerless over them—sometimes narrowly avoiding drowning!
What’s interesting about Psalm 42:7 is that it is a direct parallel to a passage we find in the Book of Jonah (2:2-3). In fact, the language between them is almost identical, as both Jonah and the psalmist call out to the Lord “from the deep” as they are engulfed by water. And in these passages, among others, I think God wants to communicate something important to us: His sovereignty over all things.
In the Bible, the sea is often used as a place of testing or affliction. For example, the disciples find themselves caught in multiple storms, Paul gets shipwrecked three times, and Jonah is swallowed by a great fish after being thrown overboard during a tempest. It’s like the old saying goes: “In the Christian life, you’re either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or headed into one.”
What these stories reveal, in part, is how God uses storms to help us die to our self-reliance and to trust in the only One who can save us from the threatening circumstances we face. As we do, the deepest part of our souls cry out to God, who answers with an incredible promise in Isaiah 43:1–2 (HCSB): “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”
If you feel like you’re being swept over by the waves of life, remember, God is in control, and He is faithful to deliver you from even the worst of storms.
DIG: Do a brief study of the storms mentioned in the Bible. What is the common theme you find running through them?
DISCOVER: What circumstance are you facing that you feel is overwhelming you? What do you hear God saying to you in the midst of it?
DISPLAY: The next time you are at the beach watching the waves roll in, consider the fact that not only did God create them, but they still obey Him. Likewise, Jesus is in charge of whatever storm you are facing, so put your trust in Him to see you through it
Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.