Waves. This lake had waves.
I looked up from the crashing swell on the shoreline, squinting hard to see the bank on the other side. Instead, there was open water - bluer than I’d ever seen before. This massive body of water before me was breaking down categories in my mind left and right.
Lakes aren’t supposed to have waves.
What I was seeing with my eyes did not line up with what I thought I should be seeing.
We spent the whole day exploring the shoreline of Lake Michigan - the desert-like dunes, the massive sand cliff, the boardwalk that seemed to teeter on the edge of the world - but I couldn’t get that thought out of my head. Lakes aren’t supposed to have waves.
And then a new thought took its place - crashing on the shore of my mind just like the waves that had occupied it all day.
All that I see is a speck compared to the view that God takes in with His omniscient eyes.
God does not look down on Lake Michigan and think, “Hey, wait a second! How did those waves sneak in there? That is not what I wanted. Lakes aren’t supposed to have waves.”
Unlike me, God is never surprised by what He sees. Things are always as they should be in His eyes because He is sovereignly ruling over every detail of the universe. Lakes can have waves, if God so commands.
In Job 38, God addresses Job with authority:
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?
This God who sets the boundaries of the seas and commands the host of heaven is also the God who knit you together in your mother’s womb and knows the exact number of hairs on your head. As Matt Chandler says, “We serve a God who is infinitely powerful yet intensely personal.”
We who are limited dare not question the Limitless One. The moment we look at our lives and start complaining about all the should be’s is the moment we presume to see better than God. All of our should be’s must conclude in thy will be done.
And yet, He calls us to cast our cares on Him and cry out to Him as a child cries out for its father. God sees and God knows. He sees the confusion and hurt in your heart, but He also sees the bigger picture. God is working together a tapestry of redemption that we can’t even begin to fathom. He’s taking every should be and working it for the good of His children, to the praise of His glory.
And one day, we will stand on that celestial shore and praise Him for every should be that we couldn’t understand at the time, just like the waves crashing on the shore of Lake Michigan.