Today I went swimming in the sea. It is early February. Let me explain: I am in Sydney, Australia, and it is 25 degrees Celsius. We arrived four days ago from rain soaked Britain, looking forward to some sun and dry weather, and what happened? It rained for 2 days solid. However, yesterday and today it has been warm and sunny. Forgive the weather report: I know Brits are derided for being obsessed with the weather but can you blame us? It has been the stuff of nightmares in England: rain and rain and more rain for weeks, months; clouds, grey skies, the sun nothing but a distant memory. Depressing. So, one does expect a certain euphoric delight in actually sighting that almost forgotten golden orb, and a sharp disappointment when it fails to show up! However, as I say, today the clouds dispersed and it was 25’C! So off to the beach, and down to the rock pool! Oh bliss! To immerse oneself in warm(ish) sea water and swim!
The good thing about the northern beaches is that there are not only amazing stretches of golden sand and immense and spectacular waves, in which intrepid surfers can be seen at any hour of the day come rain or shine; there are also lovely pools carved out of the rocks where non surfers like me can swim, happily secure and not buffeted by said enormous waves.
Those waves are something else. Not normally seen on British beaches. Towering mountains of water, wonderful for surfers, but terrifying for ordinary swimmers, they roll in relentlessly; and the inevitable bunches of enthusiasts with surf boards bob around waiting to catch a big one and ride in on the crest with crazy, breath-taking speed!
There is something hypnotically fascinating about a rough sea, the waves forever breaking, the crashing sound, the white surf.
I am not sure if I want to see the current blockbuster movie, “Impossible”, the story of a family who were caught up in the tsunami of December 2004. The trailers are enough to scare you witless. But they remind me of a prophecy that was given in 1996 at a Newfrontiers conference in Brighton. The same word was brought twice by different people on two separate occasions. I have also heard of it being spoken in other contexts since then. It is about a huge wave that will roll in over the south of England, towering over hotels and tall buildings, engulfing Brighton and rushing up through the streets. It is about a move from Heaven of the Holy Spirit. It has echoes of Isaiah 64, the coming of the Spirit like a pent up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.
Have you read of times of Revival? They cannot be manipulated into being by human agency, but they often seem to come after prolonged and sustained prayer by people desperate for God. Today in Sydney, Terry and I awoke to hear the sad news that in London in the house of commons last night a bill was voted in to change the definition of marriage. This is not only morally wrong, it is illogical, arrogant and nonsensical. The implications for our society will bring great confusion. Our nation is spiritually bankrupt. If ever there was a time of need for a wave of activity from the Holy Spirit, it is now.
I long to see that tsunami wave gathering height and momentum out on the horizon, and to feel the rush of power as it breaks on our nation. God have mercy on us!
Photography by Clearly Ambiguous