The past week I have spent vacationing with my family at the beach. The week or two we spend at the beach is always my favorite part of the summer. I love the ocean spray, the texture of sand, the wide open sky, and the sun’s brilliance. The beauty of God’s creation is captivating. And there is something so reassuring in seeing God’s power displayed through the crashing waves. The beach reminds me of God’s presence and His control.
The beach also allows me a chance to read for fun – an activity I rarely get to enjoy in the midst of textbooks and essays. This week I finished reading “If I Perish,” the story of Esther Ahn, a young woman who withstood persecution for her faith in the hands of the Japanese warlords during World War II. Her memoir opened my eyes to the atrocities committed during the world war, but more importantly, it reminded me of God’s protection and power over those who serve Him. Towards the end of her sentence, Miss Ahn was asked to write a report of her time in prison. Here is what she wrote.
The solid Rock, in an ocean expanse,
The billowing waves, crushes,
When it compels the Rock,
Yet the Rock stands unchanging, everlasting.
She was asked to explain.
“The wide, endless ocean is my theme,” I explained. “In the infinite sea, the waves incessantly surge high and disappear. Those huge, billowing breakers hit the big rock and are crushed instantaneously, turning to foam.
“In this metaphor the ocean is history, and the wave is a nation. The waves represent an insane nation that is not able to distinguish between right and wrong. The solid rock is the law of God who created the heavens and the earth and who rules all the universe.
“No matter how powerfully the waves roll in, as soon as they hit the solid rock they are crushed and dissipate into foam. They are made ashamed of themselves before the world and the history of man. The rock is firm and unchanging. The dominion of Jehovah, God, cannot be changed by any power of any nation or race. That is what the poem means.”
(Kim, Esther Ahn. If I Perish. Moody Bible Institute: Chicago, IL, 1977.)
Her words resonated with me because I have witnessed the waves this week. The waves are strong and able to overcome a human, but they can not keep form against a rock. God is our rock. There is a lot of turmoil and uncertainty in the world right now. Christians continue to be persecuted. When your faith is shaken, remember that you stand upon the rock. In the end, God will always win.
Jesus warned his disciples of the troubles ahead for them: his impending death and the resulting persecution. He reassured them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The truth remains today. Take heart! Jesus has overcome the world.
– – Phebe