Categories: Wednesday ripples 3 Comments

Riding the Waves

Ian and I love the beach!  Jericho, Crescent, Sandy Beach in Naramata or somewhere tropical.  Taking a good book to read, slapping on some sunscreen and a hat, sitting in some comfy beach chairs and we are in paradise!  We enjoy watching the waves, listening to the waves and playing in the waves.  It is definitely one of our “happy places.”  This past March we went to Hawaii, Ian for the first time, and for me, the first time in 29 years.  It was a wonderful holiday, one that I wish everyone could experience!  We went to a different beach each day and were blown away by the beauty of the ocean and mesmerized by the waves.   I read an article recently where studies have proven that a “beach-type environment can have a profound impact on our brains and mental health.”  The sound of waves, ocean waves particularly, is soothing and “listening to the waves can help achieve a meditative state, which is proven to heal and strengthen your brain.”  We all need moments that heal and strengthen us for the journey.

Just like the beach is from the waves, we each have been marked and shaped by the moments of our life.  Some of those moments filled with challenges and grief and others filled with unimaginable joy and hope. I sometimes experience the waves of grief from the losses in my life, at times a deep echoing ache.  However, through the love of God experienced in others and my own faith I am buoyed up by hope through Christ.  (Much like being buoyed up by my trusty floaty that I take to every beach!)

There is a wonderful old hymn, based on scripture,  that was published in 1887, music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman, called “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.


Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk, In this pilgrim way,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.


What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.


I’d like to leave you with this poem by Sara Rosenfeld.  Sara wrote this poem following the birth of her son Baruch Refael’s birth.  Baruch Refael (which means “Blessed is the One who heals”) was born with CHARGE syndrome and endured multiple surgeries and spent his first 7 and a half months in hospital, only to come home needing 24 hour care and many more visits to the hospital.  Sara, when talking about the poem, wrote about her experience of the closeness of God and how God is in this world working in ways that we do not always understand.  God sends us messages, intertwining them in our lives and calling us to unravel them.

The Waves of Life

Ride the waves of life my friend
Some high, some fierce, some with no end
But you’ll not be washed away by them
If you can ride the waves of life my friend

Weights may try to pull you down
Emotions full of pain
But hold on to a board
And ride the waves my friend

A board will keep you up above
The water deep and mean
And let you ride the waves of life
Ride the waves with ease

And what’s the board, this heaven sent
To hold on to in the sea?
This board my friend is nothing new
You had it all along with you
But you have to know it’s there before
You can use its strength to hold and more
The board my friend, is nothing new
It’s just the strength of the inner you

So ride the waves of life my friend
Ride the waves with ease
Let the water splash your face
Like grass sprinkled with dew
For you can still keep the pace
IF you hold on to the strength of the real you
And ride the waves of life

With hope, Jen

Comments (3)

  1. What a lovely message and poems. I too am a lover of beaches for the many qualities you mentioned. Thank you.

  2. You’ve lifted up two originals for me, Jen. I don’t know the hymn but I do have the image ‘everlasting arms’ in my tool box for finding strength. The poem is new also and I liked the imagery it introduced to me. The women in my family have all had a relationship with the sea. We all swam in the ocean. My mother used to do the ‘dead man’s float’ with her arms outstretched for what seemed an hour to my child’s eye. Her mother died when she was 16 and my mother used to take her baby brother down to that ocean (at Jericho Beach) before school in the mornings and pull him in his wagon back uphill to home (Alma and 13th). I wonder now if, when she floated on the water, she was receiving strength to ride the waves of life.

  3. Hi Jen,
    I, like you, love the beach and the sound of waves. The poem “Ride the waves” is a keeper for me! Thank you! Blessings, Beverly

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