The term “waves” or “awakenings” are used for revivals because although they included local revivals, their effects crossed national boundaries and were ultimately world-wide in scope. Some of the characteristics of waves are:
- The life of a wave begins imperceptibly.
- At some point when it becomes visible and the water begins to lift.
- It rises to a peak quickly, breaks and then slowly recedes.
- Each new wave draws up some water from the old one and pushing it onto the next.
- Men’s sand castles are often upset with great waves.