I love the beach! I love everything about it… seeing and hearing the waves and seagulls, feeling the sand, searching for shells and sea animals, smelling the air, watching the beautiful sun set above the ocean, even tasting the salt water (just a little). It’s so relaxing and peaceful – if it’s not too crowded. Often when I visit the beach, I will walk out into the water until it reaches my shoulders, then stop. Why? Because I can’t swim. I can’t even float. So I bounce along with the waves, always keeping my head above water and my feet able to touch the ocean floor. And I am constantly watching the waves. If I see a big one that might knock me down or overwhelm me, I jump up above it or quickly move away. I have learned that life can also be the same. Many times, we want to share some news, give an opinion, ask a question, or learn a new skill. But fear stops us… fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being ignored, fear of being wrong. We wade and “watch the waves” to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed with our thoughts and imagination. We try to imagine what other people think or how they will respond. We want their approval, but not their rejections. And so our opinions stay hidden inside our hearts, our questions are not answered, and we never succeed in learning that new skill. We are limited because our feelings and thoughts bounce us up and down as the waves. Remember when Jesus told Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him on the sea (Matt.14:25-32)? Peter did, but he began watching the waves as I did. Immediately, he became overwhelmed with the fear of waves, and he began to sink. He cried out, and Jesus caught him. Together they walked back to the boat. If God tells us to do something or say something, we must obey in spite of the large waves of life. Fear can be a good thing that keeps us from dangers or pains, but it can also stop and hinder us from experiencing blessings or helping others. We need to focus on Him and not ourselves. We need to stop watching the waves and have faith in Jesus Who is the Master of the sea and waves. He can control our lives and actions. Instead of running and seeking to avoid the waves, we need to let the Lord help us to face the overwhelming waves of life. Let’s learn a lesson from the disciples as they watched the winds and the waves obey the Lord. “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41).