James 1:6 “But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.” When I read about one who doubts that is like a wave of the sea which gets tossed about by the wind, I imagine and picture chaos, turmoil, damage. Waves in the sea can flow calmly as I’ve seen in early calm mornings in California and Hawaii. There is a smooth, rhythmic, peaceful movement with these waves. Comparing calm waves to a person is tough but when you really think about it, there are similarities.
As I mentioned when waves are calm there is a smooth, calm, peaceful aurora about it due to a light peaceful breeze. With us, when doubt is kept at bay, we too begin to have a sense of calm, peace, smooth movement through life. The waves flow with so much ease. We flow through life with so much ease. However, once we let doubt to begin to build up in strength we see our smooth, flowing, rhythmic calm becomes disrupted and chaotic just like that of waves disrupted and tossed about by strong disastrous winds. What I visualize when James mentions “tossed about by the wind” is a nasty disastrous storm such as a hurricane with strong, powerful winds. The destructive winds cause waves to crash into its surroundings and cause damage. The waves lose their calm. There is no more flow. There is no more rhythm. There is no more peace. Instead there is chaos. There is no sense of direction. The waves turn every which way. And as the winds continue to build in strength, the waves become more unstable and more destructive breaking down all that has been built up. The same illustration is displayed with us when doubt consumes us. The more doubt we allow to build up, the less peaceful we waves begin to experience, and the greater possibility of destruction begins to set in.
The destruction I am writing about, in my view, is not that of physical destruction to properties but rather that of mental destruction within and around us. It is the destruction that tears down positives within us such as our sense of accomplishment, our sense of belief in ourselves, and ultimately our sense of hope. Destruction from doubt brings about an unstable component within us. Being unstable within causes us to question everything we do, everything we hear, and everything we plan to do instead of relying on our faith. As we question we start to become chaotic waves who lose their sense of flow, their sense of direction. Ultimately this chaotic, unstable feeling we develop leads us to become lost. We get lost due to letting the strong doubtful winds toss us waves off our course God had set us on. That doubt is strong enough to influence us as it simultaneously quiets the voice of God within us. Consequently, doubt becomes intense enough that we become scared of continuing the path God has for us. We lose our sense of direction and ultimately become lost. However all is not lost.
Waves tossed chaotically by strong winds eventually return to their normal states of peace and calm, to their smooth, rhythmic flow. This happens due to God calming the strong winds back down to that of light breezes. Like the newly calmed waves we too can return from chaotically destructed and lost with no direction back to a sense of peace, direction, and calm rhythmic flow. How is this possible? By not trying to control ourselves, but instead by letting God calm down the doubt just as He calms the strong winds of the sea. We LET God calm US down through prayer, praise and worship, friends and various avenues He creates for us as we flow through the sea of life.