There was an old family friend who used to say, “Time and tide wait for no man…” As a younger woman, this stuck with me. Certainly it was profound, but in my more youthful days it didn’t mean as much as it does now. Time marches on no matter how we try to prevent it showing up on our faces, our spirits, our attitudes.
Every year about this time, I think about this - It’s natural when we turn the calendar to another year, that we would take stock in how things are going, our blessings, and how far we have come. We offer up our prayers, thanking God for our blessings, and ask the good Lord that He might allow us to accomplish and see and do more of the things that we put down on our various and sundry lists.
Funny, how the tide seems to roll in a bit faster as we anticipate the sun setting one day on the horizon. We want to have done all we are supposed to do in this life.
God orders our steps, just as He beats our hearts. We cannot anticipate all the ways our lives will bend and flow, narrow and expand, and sometimes nearly break us against the rocks of heartache and tragedy. All we know is that He is with us and we, like time, somehow, someway, keep marching on.
As the author of a book that deals with healing from heartache, I am in awe of the stories I am privileged to have shared with me by women who have walked through things so incomprehensible, so wrenching, that it is a near-miracle that they can still have a cogent thought. And yet, time and time again, what I hear through the weaving of their words, is Victory. They are claiming that God is delivering them, changing them, taking all that they have gone through and reshaping their lives for the better.
I guess what I am trying to say here, is that as much as we want for things to stay the same — our circumstances, our loves, our families… We are, from our first breath to our last, perpetually changing. If you’ve ever been out in the ocean, thinking you are just going to wade in a little ways and enjoy the ripple just beyond the waves, how incredulous you are when you turn back around and see that you are no longer near where you thought you had started. You’ve drifted even when you didn’t feel it happening to you. Such is life.
The pull of moon on the tide cannot be changed. We cannot contain the drifting of our lives no more than we can keep our babies young forever. No matter how much cream we put on our faces, we cannot defend against the age that comes to claim us. The issue, I am learning, is that we learn to go with the flow. That in each season, there is much for us to take in, to find joy and peace and purpose. Always.
Our faith gives to us the resiliency to recognize that He is always at work, that He is working all things together for our good, that the sun will come up tomorrow no matter what. Sure, there are stormy days. But if we stay anchored in Him, no matter how hard the wind and rain come to get us off course, we will come through and somehow end up stronger for it.
What I am learning, is this — Our blessings come to us even when we don’t recognize them at first. Just like the tide, they are bringing us new things, new opportunities to thrive, new ways to see His handwork guiding us forward. We are not merely drifting as it sometimes feels. We are being readied for what comes next. There is always Victory on the other side of what we are going through, even in the most harrowing of places.
Time and tide wait for no man. But in God we can trust that He has us and knows what’s ahead and already has it figured out somehow for us. A life without faith, without Him, is like being caught in a riptide. We are tossed about, grasping for things, people, idols, that have no power to save us.
Ebb and flow will come. Life will challenge and change us. That’s the way God designed it. But He is our buoy, our constant, our Grace.
In Him, the tide will always turn to our Victory.