Who Holds Back the Waves and Protects You?

I was mesmerized by the waves tumbling onto the shore the other day, they only came up so far. They were held back. There was a boundary and God had drawn it. I could stand and watch the ocean for hours. I’m grateful for any opportunity to be on the sun-drenched sands. Before the sun would slip up over the horizon, I’d walk out onto the beach and meander through all the treasures left by the evening’s previous tide.

Those waves only go so far, the pounding, the rolling and cascading – the power of all that water is stopped by a border drawn by God’s hand.


‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Job 38:11

It’s like that for you too. There are times when it seems like the waves crashing over you will surely break you apart. But God knows the very distinct place where you are no longer shaped but crushed. He knows what will destroy you and will hold back those waves.

He’s not trying to destroy you.

He’s not mad at you.

He’s not punishing you.

He is holding back waves. He’s holding back things that would sweep you away, things that would be the end of you, things that would destroy.

He’s shaping you, molding you and your heart into something pliable, something He can use.

You leave a littering of your own when these waves crash in around you.

It might not look like broken shells, star fish or globs of what was a jelly fish, but you are always leaving a trail behind you – and hopefully it isn’t a lay waste of yuck.


There will be pieces of things that are meant to be left behind…selfish desires, sin patterns, a deceitful tongue, fear, worry, etc.


But there should be some good things too, like the beautiful shells I found as I walked along the beach. You should be leaving a pathway of grace, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness and patience.


It’s hard to be patient and kind when it seems like you are being pelted. Lashing out can come so easily and quickly when you are wounded, but often times it’s because you feel you are being treated unfairly. You might feel as if God has it in for you that He’s being unfair and He’s the reason why you are suffering. You may thing you deserve so much more…and in reality – we all deserve so much more…wrath.

In reality you are swimming in an ocean of grace.

You are drowning in mercy.

He doesn’t hold back the waves of grace and mercy.

God knows what He’s doing and in your circumstance.


You can trust that He will allow the waves to only crash so far upon the shores of your life.

He will allow you to become frustrated in your sin until you are willing to surrender.

He does love you enough to not allow you to remain where you are.

He is actively, all around you, doing more than you could ever see or ever know about.


What spiritual characteristics have the pounded waves produced in you…what beauty do you now leave behind that wasn’t there before? You are producing more than you can imagine…others are enjoying the product of your trials and when it points them to Christ…how much more glorious could that be?

God knows the boundary – the breaking point in your life – trust the work that He is allowing in your life.




May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!