Deadly aftershocks often follow hard
on the heels of earth-quakes and tsunamis – and it can feel like
this in grief, too. As the waves continue to buffet, all our
instincts are to cry out, “Lord change our circumstances!” But since
the Lord could have prevented whatever it was from happening, there
may be better prayers to pray.
When loneliness and loss beat upon our shore, it is good to remember
the many times when waves of love and blessing have swept our soul.
By God’s mercy these good times will return, and sweep aside our
If it feels for the time being as though we are being dragged along
in the undertow of these waves – like someone opening their mouth at
the wrong time and finding the ocean filling their lungs – we must
somehow learn to ride them, just as a surfer catches the waves and
uses their power to take them surging towards their destination.
This is but another way of expressing my earlier image of throwing a
jujitsu fighter by the force of his own charge.
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink, Jesus
invites (John 7:37). From the depths we cry out, “Lord I am battered
and all but drowning – but Your word says Come to Me – and
Your water is fresh and sweet to my soul. That is why I will pray,
“Lord, come to my heart and change me,” rather than just “change the
This heartfelt prayer draws us into the silence of God – which is
less loneliness than presence: an adventure waiting to be explored.
How much better is this than storing up resentments, which at any
moment can lead to make comments that are far better left unsaid?
Isn’t this what our souls have always been longing for? In this
silent seeking, we join our hearts to millions around the world, and
hear the echo of His surprising yet profoundly reassuring promises:
||He who loses His life for
My sake will find it . . . Everyone who has left houses or
brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or
fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and
will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be
last, and many who are last will be first.
Matthew 16:25; 19:19-20
Or as Jean Pierre de Caussade
put it, “One often has more delight in finding refreshment
anew than one ever had grief in its loss.”21