The One Who Treads the Waves

by Allyson Todd May 22, 2017

My adult life consists of constant transition. In the last seven years, I have not lived in the same room or apartment for longer than a year or so. Usually, I move every six months. I have transitioned into multiple jobs, various friend groups, and many strong desires. 

They all come in waves. Each job, apartment, friend, desire, hope, or goal seems to reach its height, then break onto the shore in various magnitudes of force. As far as these transitions go, no tsunami-size waves of disappointment have crested in the ocean of my life, but there are some you could surf.  

Here’s a truth about me: waves scare me. There is no way to tame the waves of my ever-in-transition life and I am unable to control the tide. No movies about tsunamis, sea storms, or constant transition for this girl. 

These waves were familiar to Job. He endured constant changes, and each one brought more sorrow than the next. His pain was beyond anything I could imagine. In Job 8, his “friend” Bildad explained all the reasons God would ease Job’s suffering. Bildad fashioned a false explanation for Job's suffering:

“But if you earnestly seek God and ask the Almighty for mercy, if you are pure and upright, then he will move even now on your behalf and restore the home where your righteousness dwells. Then, even if your beginnings were modest, your final days will be full of prosperity.” (Job 8:5-7, CSB)

Bildad did not understand why God would cause Job to suffer. The Israelites believed that righteous character would inevitably bring prosperity and that any form of suffering must be a result of disobedience (we see this later in John 9:1-3). Yet Job suffered because of his righteous character, not because of disobedience. He displayed his righteousness when he did not bend his knee to Bildad’s prompt. Instead, he declared the truth about his state: 

“Yes, I know what you’ve said is true, but how can a person be justified before God? If one wanted to take him to court, he could not answer God once in a thousand times. God is wise and all-powerful. Who has opposed him and come out unharmed? He removes mountains without their knowledge, overturning them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place so that its pillars tremble. He commands the sun not to shine and seals off the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.” (Job 9:1-8, CSB).

The source of Job’s confidence was not the hope that all will be prosperous if he was “pure and upright.” His confidence was found in the wisdom and power of God. He had faith in his Lord, not in his circumstances. Job trusted the One who is the Mountain Remover, the Earth Shaker, the Sun Shadower, the Star Sealer, the Heaven Stretcher, and the Great Wave Treader. 

Jesus, when wind-battered the boat that carried the disciples, tread the waves. Peter forgot that the Son of God not only treads the waves, but he creates them and causes them to ebb and flow. Jesus has this same wisdom and power over our lives and, like Job, our confidence should be in Him and not our circumstances. 

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). 

When I doubt what the next three months hold for me, I can rest assured that my powerlessness to determine my future makes room for me to trust God who is most powerful. I hope that as I strive by the Spirit to have confidence in God, I can say with Job to the One who treads the waves:

“I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)