Low Tides

Psalm 55

The smoky tones of Peggy Lee’s voice occasionally blow across my mind: “Is that all . . . is that all there is?” With no bitterness intended, I ask that haunting question in the backwash of certain situations.

How much like the tide we are! When our spirits are high, we are flooded with optimism, hope, and expectation. But when low, our jagged barnacles of disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment are exposed. We struggle to maintain an even keel as the rough winds jerk our sails.

Like the pull of the sea, some of our low tides are almost predictable.

Is that all . . . is that all there is to victory?
Elijah asked that. And he was fresh off a great victory at Carmel! It’s hard to believe 1 Kings 18 and 19 are connected. Vulnerable and frightened, he suffered the low tide that often follows victory, perhaps the cruelest dart in the devil’s quiver.

Is that all . . . is that all there is to vision?
Paul asked that. Having taken gigantic strides into the vast regions of Asia, he was caught at low tide. He freely admits this to his friends at Corinth: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8).

Is that all . . . is that all there is to valor?
David asked that when, after proving himself a dedicated warrior, unmatched for bravery in Israel’s ranks, he was forced to flee from Saul. Reeling in fear and despair, David even disguised himself as insane before the king of Gath. The once-exalted warrior now “scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard” (1 Sam. 21:13).

Low tide . . . how painful yet how essential. Without it, we cannot have high tide. Without it, there would be no need for Elishas to minister to victoryless Elijahs . . . no need for visionaries to fall in dependence on their faces before God . . . no need for the valiant to be reminded of their Source of strength.

Is that all . . . is that all there is to low tides?

No, there is more, much more, most of which can never be described . . . only discovered.

When it seems like that’s all there is, remember all you have in Him.

If we never had our lower moments, we wouldn’t need to be reminded of our true Source of strength.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

Posted in Encouragement & Healing and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.