Surfing Suffering

I’m never going to tame suffering.
It is an ocean of unpredictable waves.

In my youth, I surfed like a barney,
thinking I knew the right moves.
But I was a rag doll with a christian vocabulary
tossed from my flimsy board of faith.
A Maverick of despair pinned me,
revealing my desperation for a savior.

Still the waves kept crashing,
drowning me in sorrow,
Until God rescued me and
set my feet on ground solid with his love.
We trained for hours.
I looked silly hopping up on my board of faith,
awkwardly balancing between grace and works.
Up daily for dawn patrol to
study the Hall of Faith surfers,
men and women,
though scarred by Great Waves,
who rode life to the fullest impact.

They testified to the reward of daily discipline,
and increased my quiver. The right board for the right wave.
Self-control stretched and retrained my weak muscles.
Jesus taught me to respect suffering;
lean into the lessons rather than fight their powerful surge. 

I now know what it is like to run my fingers down the barrel,
relax into the beautiful hollow of not being God.
I use suffering from top to bottom,
carving hope from impossible odds.
I respect other surfing sufferers, rooting them on to ride well.

I persevere when rung through the washing machine of trials.
Experiencing epic peeks with God towards the glorious impact of gnarly suffering.

 

Photo by Hernan Pauccara from Pexels “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).


Podcasts post every Monday at 10 am.

Devotionals post every Tuesday at 7 pm.

Poetry post every Thursday at 7 pm.

devotional faith poetry

Observing Healing Among the Tombs

“Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” (Mark 5:5-8)


“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

I have sat among the tombs with the demoniac man for a week. His arms scarred with cuts, Shackles around his ankles, bones breathing in and out in desperate hunger. I watched him day and night cry out for release. “Death, death,” he screamed. And it appeared the demons were trying to kill him.

So many questions form in my mind.

  • Why did he not die? 
  • Why did this man get picked out for torture? Why so many demons?
  • Were they trying to destroy the man? Kill him like they killed the pigs?
  • Why did the demons want to stay in the region? Was it a stronghold? Did they hold dominion over the land?
  • Why did the demons not come out immediately when Jesus commanded them to?
  • Does Jesus torture demons?
  • Why was Jesus in the “unclean” cemetery? Did he purposely have the boat docked here to meet this demoniac man?

Jesus does not ask for the man’s background, he doesn’t make an assessment of his sanity, or his worthiness, he just heals the man.

The demons acknowledge that he is the son of God, plead for mercy and Jesus gives it. That seems odd. Jesus showed mercy to demons. They drown themselves.

What courage the weary man had if “Legions” goal was to kill him before this encounter with Jesus. He continued to live in such agony for the moment of ultimate release. Freedom inside and out.

Can you wait? When despair rips you to shreds . . . can you wait for Jesus to free you from your suffering, and trust, though you may be chained in this life, God will relieve all your suffering? Even in despair, God fits us into his story. I watched the transformation of this earthbound, abandoned soul, and I wait expectantly. I wait for my son Jonathan’s story, and for my story to be fully revealed in Christ.

Poetry is posted every Thursday at 7 pm

Podcast is posted every Monday at 10 am

Devotional is posted every Tuesday at 7 pm

devotional faith mental health