Our lives can sometimes seem to swing so far from the centre that we get terrified and lose all hope of finding our way back again. We are all different and I don’t pretend to know why other people swing out wide on their particular journey. But I believe that God has all of our swings in hand even as He has the many orbiting planets and moons in complete control.
There are certain scriptures that scare the daylights out of us on one hand …but then are also used as weapons against us to deepen our suffering and mental anguish. I am speaking about verses like–…he who blasphemes the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven….and another….it is impossible to renew them to repentance. Oh! How many times have those two come to torment me!
Even if you are not a believer the same thing happens. Feelings and thoughts that tell us there is no way back from here….you are too far gone….nobody cares and nobody will save you…All of these thoughts connect in with the heaviness and oppression that feels like we are encased in a body bag already.
No way back to where? Where do we want to get back to?
Many have no reference point that is a place of safety and peace. It has been so very long since they felt safe they cannot remember what it is like. My heart aches for them. I have known what it is to rest in God’s incredible love. I have known the peace that surpasses all understanding. That is the place I want to remain in constantly.
That place is Jesus Christ Himself. In Him is peace and life and joy and all things. In Jesus is where all humanity will find rest. He is the safe harbour that we flee to. He is the refuge from the storm. He is our high tower, our hiding place. To be found in Him….that is what we all need.
If Jesus is the Safe Harbour, then we must anchor our vessel in Him. If you are Born Again, that is if you have received Jesus as your God and Saviour then your spirit IS in Him always. God places the believers spirit into Himself and Himself into you. In your inner most part- your spirit- God dwells.
All the swinging out and in…the ups and downs…are the soul/body(flesh) finding out through struggles, that where the spirit leads is the Best place to stay. The soul does not find it easy to trust the leadership of the S/spirit(God and your spirit together). But the Holy Spirit is immovable! He really is a Rock like no other…. (Psalm 18:31; 27:5)and He is in you, in your spirit. If you fell into the ocean on a rough day and a rock was nearby, you would swim to it and hang on tight knowing it will not be moved. The Rock is found in us and our soul is learning to cling to Him.
God knows we will encounter many difficulties in life, these are the ups and downs…the swinging to left and right away from the place of refuge and strength in Him. Each time we do this we grow a little in understanding where we should stay and why we left. Look at this example …
Psa 107:25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits’ end.
These men of the sea ride the waves that mount up to heaven and then go down again to the depths. The roller-coaster ride of the soul. Powerful emotions that drive us up and down…highs and lows. As I said earlier, we are all different. What makes you high and low is different than for me. Yet I want you to remember that the place of equilibrium is in your spirit, not your soul. The Rock is in your innermost part. The waves of emotion, whether high or low cannot move the Rock. H/he is unchanging, immovable, always the same, always perfect love, peace and rest. The waves in this verse represent these powerful emotions.
Being lifted up is also a reference to Pride and going down to the depths speaks of being humbled. The 2 sons in Luke 15 illustrate this as I showed in my diagram. Pride is one of my swings out from, and away from abiding in Jesus. The older brother was working hard for his father’s blessing and was very offended when the father blessed the unworthy son. Pride lifts us up and a certain fall awaits us at the top of our game. We must learn that of ourselves we are nothing. But in Christ is all that matters and all that produces any fruit.
Being humbled is of course what happened to the Prodigal son. That is my swing to the left. Ending up out away from the rest available in the spirit, the soul dwells in self pity and despair and quickly forgets that there is a place to return to. Eventually in the mercy of God we come to our senses and remember. Up we get, and home we trot, as fast as we can caper….well we come slowly because we have been beaten down so low!
Waves are interesting to me as well, because having been a surfer and a Prawn(shrimp) fisherman I understand that waves go deeper than the surface. In fact waves at the surface(emotions) are connected with the sea bed(deeper issues). The shallower the sea becomes, the steeper the waves become until they break. This breaking is the outcome or end result of the issues that lie in the deeper places in us. If we have issues in our life from the past…memories and triggers…these are like the sea bed. As these old things are remembered they trigger waves to form and eventually to break on our surface.- our life.
The boat is also descriptive for us. When a boat goes over the top of a large ocean swell it will suddenly drop off the crest of the swell towards the valley before the next wave lifts it up again. The stomach rises and drops as this happens.
This is what happens in us when we ‘fall from the sky’ for whatever reason. The stomach represents the inner feelings. When the stomach drops at the top of the wave….all we see ahead is the valley approaching. From there we look up and see the towering swell about to fall on us! We are sure we are doomed…we shall be smothered and buried under tons of water. But not so…up we come again…but there is always the lingering fear and knowledge that any highs will be followed by deeper lows.
These people “reeled to and fro…they stagger…are at their wits end.” To be at your wits end means in Hebrew to “make away with (specifically by swallowing); generally to destroy: – cover, destroy, devour, eat up, be at end, spend up, swallow down (up).” Strong’s Concordance
The end result of all this up and down, in and out living is despair. We feel that our enemy has devoured us, swallowed us up and destroyed us. We feel no good for anything at all. BUT!!
Psa 107:28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.
Psa 107:30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.
This is not describing an emotional high, but rather the central place we return to.
If you have suffered like this, cry out to the LORD. His name is Jesus. He will hear your cry because He is not far away up in heaven, but right there with you…right now. Always has been with you but He waits for us to cry to Him. He will bring you out of all your distresses and calm your stormy seas. The emotions are those stormy seas. He says PEACE BE STILL!
Your soul finds rest in God alone your salvation is in Jesus. Your soul will find rest anchoring itself in Him. Don’t know how to cry out to Jesus? Just say His name and He comes, for “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
In the Fathers house–Jesus Himself…you and I find a place prepared for us…not up in heaven…but in our own spirit. Jesus comes into you to join Himself with your spirit as ONE. You are the Father’s House…you are His resting place.
We learn to abide in Him…trusting ourselves fully to Him. He has you and will not let you go. Your soul may choose to run away either into pride or despair…swinging out wide again…but He will bring you back to the rock, the safe refuge again.
If you keep coming to that place and learn to rest there gradually your soul and body will stabilise in His loving embrace. You will find He does not hold you against your will. He sets you free.
Isa 30:15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,