“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”- attributed to Charles Spurgeon
“The obstacle is not the enemy; the obstacle is the way.”- Mark Batterson
In Chapter 3 (“The Obstacle is the Way”) of Win the Day, Mark Batterson talks about Dr. Frederick Treves (1855-1923). A British surgeon, Dr. Treves befriended David Merrick, aka The Elephant Man. After Merrick’s death at the age of twenty-seven, Dr. Treves penned this eulogy:
“His troubles had ennobled him. He showed himself to be a gently, affectionate, and lovable creature. . . . . without a grievance and without an unkind word for anyone. I have never heard him complain.”
Hence, Pastor Batterson asks, how is it even possible that Merrick never complained – with the kind of trauma he endured? And how could someone mistreated for so many years profess happiness every hour of the day? The answer? — the second daily habit – kiss the wave. Certainly, you’re not responsible for all the hardships you’ve had to endure. But, Mark underscores, you are response-able. And the obstacle provides the way.
Furthermore, kissing the wave means we look to God, who rebukes the wind and the waves. However, Mark counsels, before you rebuke the storm, you must accept it. For it’s impossible to move past the pain if you ignore, hide, or deny it. Instead, Mark notes, we need to ask the question: What have you come to teach me?
In conclusion, Pastor Batterson offers these thoughts on dealing with hardship:
“When we find ourselves in difficult situations, we get so focused on getting out of them that we get nothing out of them. Then we wonder why we find ourselves in the same situation all over again. There is nothing wrong with asking God to change your circumstances, but the primary objective is changing you. The circumstances you’re asking God to change may be the very circumstances He is using to change you.”
Today’s question: How have you learned to kiss the wave? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The best of times, the worst of times”