"Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me." -- Psalm 42:7
When you are standing in the ocean, enjoying the coolness of the water and and the warmth of the sun upon your skin, there are times you feel strong enough to face the on-coming waves head on. You walk toward them and feel like you and take on the tallest wave. You see the waves coming...the small ones that break past you and the big ones that try to take you under. You think, "I've got this!" It's a powerful feeling to be that strong and prepared!
Sometimes the really big waves come together. A strong one almost knocks you down, but you stay strong. But before you've had a chance to wipe the salt from your eyes another wave is right on top of you. This one might take you down, but your reaction time is pretty quick and you pull yourself right back up. And then yet another wave is right behind it, ready to devour your weakened spirit. The undertow is too much for you at that moment and you go under. Salt goes up your nose and burns your eyes and throat. You feel like you can't fight anymore and you want to give up. But you grasp onto whatever fighting spirit you have left and you stand up.
In these times, you are too weak and recovering to feel strong enough to face the waves. You turn your back to them and deal with them as they come. The small ones might break around you with little trouble, but the big ones still come and beat you up when you don't see them coming. You aren't prepared and just to weary to care.
Sometimes the ocean gives you moments of rest in between the waves. Those moments are peaceful and you can catch your breath and just float along. You watch the waves crash around you, maybe taking others under, but your area is calm and peaceful. This peace doesn't last long, but it gives you rest so you can prepare for the next round.
It is important to remember to never go swimming in the ocean alone. When multiple waves have weakened you, a friend will lend a hand and help you walk to the safety of the shore. That friend will help you walk across the painfully sharp rocks and shells that come right before the soft sand and will get you a comfortable chair on the beach so you can rest up for your next swim.