Have you ever been to the ocean on a brilliant sunny day when the waves are roaring, cascading on the beach? Foam crests, at the tip of each incoming breaker, seeming to dance until the very last spray of its existence. When the foam disappears into the sand it has fulfilled its purpose, but until that final moment, it rides the ocean depths awaiting its destiny on the beach.

Our lives can be like foam awaiting the hour when the wave that carried us slides into eternity. In that climactic period of time, when we fulfill the purpose for which we were created, Christ is glorified. Jesus exemplified this. For 90% of His life on this earth, the first thirty years, we know almost nothing of what He did; yet volumes have been written about the three and a half years that end in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Like Jesus, the meaning of our lives is revealed in our daily dying. What if the foam could refuse to crash on the beach? All the ocean would soon be covered in foam. The foam, however, submits to a greater power, the wave. The wave submits to the divine rhythm of the ocean. The ocean, in turn, is ordered by the gravitational pull of the moon. The moon is influenced by its relation to the earth and sun. Like the foam we do not understand all that is happening to us to place us on the wave, but we can have faith in the Hand that placed us there, unless we believe that creation itself is an accident of time.

Being foam on the crest of a wave is a little like riding on a roller coaster, once you get on you cannot get off until the ride ends. Each wave is a part of the ocean and cannot be separated from it. The foam cannot be fully separated form the wave. You and I cannot be separated from the love of Christ which we received when we surrendered our lives to Jesus. If we do not deeply embrace and remember this love our long journey becomes an exercise in foolishness as death at the cross becomes an enemy to be feared rather than the path to freedom and life.

As time goes by and momentum builds, the wave is drawn to the beach. Each wave exists briefly at a point in time and each sequence of waves lasts for a short period of time. Revivals are often likened to waves. When they dissolve in the sand it is the rare observer who truly recognizes that one sequence has ended and time may go by before another begins. Sometimes we study the wave and attempt to create for ourselves what only God can set into motion.

It may seem humiliating to think of our lives as foam on a wave. Sometimes we feel insignificant to God's eternal purpose. We can feel that the journey is too long, or the storms too strong, but Jesus said that when we have done all that He commands us, we are still unprofitable servants. When we yield humbly to Him and are swept into God's purpose for our lives, we finally realize that death on the beach is only the beginning of our journey. All of this life is a prologue to the great adventure He has prepared for those who love Him. Who we really are is hidden beneath the foam in the substance of the ocean. Like a good mystery the complete truth of who we are will be revealed later when each of us meets Him face to face.

Charles E. Smith