Rogue Waves


Tony and I do not watch much TV.  First of all, we only have


cable - no premium channels, no TIVO, no DVR - so our choices are usually slim.  Secondly, there does not seem to be much on TV these days that encourages us in our daily lives. Lastly, we do not have too many evenings when we are home with absolutely nothing to do. 

Once in a while, as we surf through the channels, we come upon a show called 

Deadliest Catch

 ~ about the men and women who make their living fishing the depths of the world's oceans.  It has some amazing footage of these vessels, the crew and what they encounter.  It actually can make one sea-sick just by watching.

The work on these ships is tough, the weather is fierce and the living conditions are cramped.  As if these realities were not enough, there is another threat for those tough enough to hold down this job.  There is the possibility of

rogue waves

 ~ waves that seemingly come out of nowhere and have measured upward to

100 feet tall!

Scientists are still working to understand completely what causes these killer waves to occur.  One theory is that these giant walls of water form when strong winds push against the ocean current, or when swells react to the rise and fall of the seafloor. It may also be that smaller waves converge at the same place and time to combine into a monster wave.  Can you imagine how many little waves it would take to come together to build at just the right time, in the same place, to become a rogue wave?

Whatever the cause, rogue waves are rarely predictable.  They rise up spontaneously, without warning.   Captains and crew members of ships have little warning except the visual image of a wall of water coming toward them.  And by then, it is often too late. 

Although I live with both feet firmly planted on dry land, I often find myself facing killer waves - situations, circumstances, events and at times, personalities - that seem to come out of nowhere, with little to no warning.  And like an oceanic scientist, I find myself trying to figure out

what just hit me




Sometimes I find myself in a place where I have allowed too many

little things

to just build.  Am I the only one who keeps saying 'yes' to things and then finds myself over-committed, way in over my head?




  Other times, I may sense life taking me one direction, and I fight against it, like a fierce wind pushing against the ocean's current, only to find the pressure of the current wins in the end.  And I am left treading water rather than swimming with the flow.  It seems I can look back

(with 20/20 vision, of course)

and see how I could have predicted the wave, planned for the wave, and maybe even avoided the wave.

But there are times in my life when - without any warning - I am hit by a rogue wave . . . a monster, killer wave. It comes out of nowhere.  And I feel like I am drowning.  I'm sure you have been hit by them too.  The phone call that tells of a fatal accident.  The diagnosis that means life will never be the same.  The devastation left by the wildfires.  The layoff.  The foreclosure. 

Life . . . at times, it can feel like a rogue wave ~ sucking us under, towing us into the deep where we can't stand, swallowing us, taking our breath away. 

The day


 our home was hit with the massive rogue wave of


, my husband, Tony, was teaching an adult group at our local church.  There were no indications that a monster wave was in the making.  No way to know what the next day held for us.  Yet, Tony's text for that morning in early February was a passage in the New Testament about when Jesus' disciples were gripped with fear as their small boat was tossed around by the winds and the waves on the Sea of Galilee. 

To illustrate his point, Tony drew a small boat on the white board.  He added waves crashing over the sides of the boat, and 'stick figures' of disciples yelling out from the boat.  Then he drew a rock, just below the water line, holding the boat steady.  Tony commented, "Even in the midst of the storm, Jesus is our rock, holding us as we ride out the waves."  I think every person in the room that morning will always remember that drawing.

Just 24 hours later,


boat was fighting to stay upright against a killer wave.  We were taking on water fast.  We were drowning in our own tears.  We could hardly breathe.  And yet, we survived the loss of our precious son.

Jesus said to his disciples that day on the stormy sea, "Oh, you of little faith!  Have you not learned anything . . .?"  Jesus had proved His power and strength ~ to keep them, hold them, provide for them ~ and yet, they did not remember His faithfulness in this time of need.

When rogue waves are looming off on the horizon and it is as if a towering wall of water is ready to overtake us, let us call out in our weakness from our small boats to the One who made the seas, who calms the winds, who holds our very lives in His hands in the midst of the storm.  He remains our hope.  Our rock.  Our cleft in the storms of life.