My grandmother lived near the ocean in California, and one of my happiest childhood memories is playing in the surf at Big Corona. Sometimes we rode the waves on rubber mattresses or styrofoam boards. But I liked simple bodysurfing the best—jump up in a swell, start swimming, and let the wave carry you to the beach.
Timing was important, though. If you didn't catch the wave just right, it could flatten you. Even as a little girl, I learned the trick of diving under waves I wasn't going to catch. No matter how huge a breaker was, when I would dive under it I'd miss all the turbulence and force. Instead there was just a gentle rocking as the wave passed over me. Then I'd pop up to the surface again. Even the biggest waves didn't scare me once I knew how to get to that calm place.
I think of this often in relation to the waves of life—big ones like injustice, illness, rejection, or fear of any kind. There's a way to calm and safety, to what the book of Psalms describes as "the secret place of the most High." Ps. 91:1 In fact, the Bible gives many clear directions to this place, including this one from another psalm: "Be still, and know that I am God." Ps. 46:10