But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore—the LORD above is mightier than these! (Psalm 93:4)
When I lived in Southern California, I occasionally enjoyed body surfing at the beach. It was a thrill to get out in the surf, to swim as fast as I could just as a wave was beginning to break, and then to be carried along by that wave for several seconds as it made its way to shore.
But sometimes the waves were just too big for me. When they reached five or six feet in size, that was more than I could handle. I learned the hard way how it felt to be slammed into the sand by a wave too powerful for me. A few brave souls dared to ride such waves, sometimes even challenging those that were ten feet high or more. Some made it; but others did not. I’m sad to say that, every year, a few Southern Californians would perish in surf that had overpowered them.
It’s unlikely that the author of Psalm 93 envisioned body surfing when using the image of the waves. It’s more likely that he was picturing the surf battering a beach during a storm, or perhaps a perilous boat ride in rough water. Nevertheless, the psalmist rightly used “the violent raging of the seas” and “breakers on the shore” as images of natural power. Yet, he added, “the LORD is mightier than these!” (93:4).
Today, we might picture the devastating power of a hurricane or a tsunami. We might think of the force of a major earthquake or tornado. Yet no matter the images of natural power that come to mind, the good news of Psalm 93 is that God is still “mightier than these.” In fact, no matter what threatens or intimidates us, no matter what powers fill our hearts with fear, God is “mightier than these.” Thus we can entrust our lives to him, all that we are, all that we have, all that we care about.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced the power of nature? How have you experienced the power of God? What helps you to know and have confidence in God’s power? Where do you need his power today?
PRAYER: O Lord, when the floods rise up, when challenges threaten to overwhelm us, when forces bigger than we are make us afraid, we are comforted when we remember that you are mightier than these. So help us to have confidence in you and your strength. Help us to trust you when fear grips our hearts.
Make your power known to us, dear Lord. Work powerfully in us, transforming us into your image. Work powerfully through us, so that we might begin to experience the peace and justice of your kingdom.
All praise be to you, O God, because you are mightier than the waves! Amen.
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