In the Curl of the Wave

Wyndham and I were on a prayer walk this morning.  Feeling a lot with the near-at-hand loss of his dad, we felt the urgent need to pray. Since we are near an ocean, we went there.  As we were praying, the waves were particularly high and loud.  As I watched the waves crest, I focused on the curl inside of the wave and many memories flooded my mind. 

I hold a treasured memory, as a young girl, of riding the waves with my dad.  Having grown up on an island, Dad spent a lot of time in the water.  He taught me to ride the waves, which I loved doing. I still enjoy it. I remember the lessons he taught as he showed me how to find the “sweet spot” in the curl of the wave. He reminded me to keep my hands outstretched as I got caught up in the curl — and to allow the power of the wave to take me to shore.  If I got in at just the right place, one wave could take me all the way to the shore.  He had this down to a “fine art”.  I was amazed at how far the waves would take him… as the sand would scrape his stomach.

As I stood there watching the waves, and remembering my dad, I was struck by two things.  One was the bigness of God compared to my insignificance… and yet somehow God thinks I am significant.  As I stood there feeling so small, I remembered Psalm 8:3-5
When I consider your heavens,
        the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
        which you have set in place,
    [4] what is man that you are mindful of him,
        the son of man that you care for him?
    [5] You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
        and crowned him with glory and honor.
Just then, several small birds flew overhead, reminding me of the significance God places on me.  It seems unfathomable.   Matthew 10:29-31
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. [30] And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. [31] So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Feeling the sorrow of losing my father-in-law brought me back to the times with my dad.  In my mind’s eye, again I could picture the exuberant rush in catching the power of the wave and being carried in by its power.  I could almost feel the water rushing over my head and beside me, forcing me toward the shore — all the while tucked into the power of the curl.  That, to me, is what it feels like to be tucked inside of the shadow of God’s arms.

Psalm 36:5-7
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
        your faithfulness to the skies.
    [6] Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
        your justice like the great deep.
    O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.
        [7] How priceless is your unfailing love!
    Both high and low among men
        find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

The following Psalm describes well, to me, the power of God as can be felt in the curl of the wave.  I want to know him, continue to feel the protection of his arms — and to know and reflect his mighty power!

Psalm 93:3-5
The seas have lifted up, O Lord,
        the seas have lifted up their voice;
        the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
    [4] Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
        mightier than the breakers of the sea–
        the Lord on high is mighty.
  [5] Your statutes stand firm;
        holiness adorns your house
        for endless days, O Lord.

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  1. Bonnie Chazotte

    Jeanie, Greetings from Asheville, NC. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is so true that God is so much bigger than me yet he considers me special to him. I was listening to a song earlier today… Someone Worth Dying For. This message is so important and so many people just don’t get it. Thank you so much for all your great insights. I keep sharing these with the ladies here in the new Asheville Church. We will be praying for you and Wyndam at this time. We love you guys. ~Bonnie Chazotte

  2. Bonnie Chazotte

    Jeanie~ Greetings from Asheville, NC. Thank you so much for all the insight you give us through your posts. I keep forwarding your posts to the women here in the new Asheville Church. This one is so true, yet so many people just don’t ever grasp this. I was touched by this same message earlier today while listening to a song called “Someone Worth Dying For”. We will be praying for you and Wyndam during this time of loss. We love you guys. ~Bonnie Chazotte

  3. Bonnie Chazotte

    Jeanie~ Greetings from Asheville, NC. Thank you so much for the great insights. They are very refreshing to me. I keep forwarding these to all the ladies here in the new Asheville Church. This one is especially touching for me. I was touched by the same message earlier today when listening to a song called “Someone Worth Dying For”. So many people just don’t grasp this concept of how much God values us. We will be praying for you and Wyndam at this time. We love you guys.

    • jeanieshaw

      Hi Bonnie. This got sent to my spam. Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. It means a lot. Hope you are doing well in Asheville – beautiful place. Love to all. Jeanie

  4. Daniel Langhans

    Love this. it encouraged my soul being reminded of the ocean and God’s might and creative power and how much he values me. Thanks for sharing your heart and linking it to fb Jeanie.

  5. Katherine Pugh

    Jeanie, what wonderful memories of your dad – I remember his big smile and bright eyes!! I only had the pleasure of being around him a couple of times!!
    Please give Wyndham and yourself a big hug – so sorry for what you are both going through. We have both lost our parents now and it is a different world without them.

    • jeanieshaw

      Thanks Katherine. Wyndham’s dad was our last parent. It is sad for a generation to be gone. Give Phil our love as well.

  6. Betty Morehead

    Wyndham and Jeanie,

    Thank you for giving all of us a glimpse of your walk with God through a painful time of saying goodbye. I remember how encouraging you both were when I lost my dad in 1998. I still miss him; that part never goes away. But now I am closer to seeing him again. God’s faithfulness now for you is the revelation He gives you through the ocean and the memories it brings back to you. Much love, Betty and Stan

    • jeanieshaw

      Thanks so much Betty. Look forward to seeing you soon. Love you. Jeanie


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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