I don’t know why the beach always lends itself to long, contemplative blog posts.
Maybe its because, as the waves crash and the wind blows, I cannot hear any of the things my children are saying to each other, and therefore ‘mommy’ brain is on vacation.
Maybe it’s because I have to sit perfectly still in order to soak up the sun’s rays in the exact right quantity and on the exact right surfaces of my body, and so the only things that can move are the thoughts whirling around inside my head.
Maybe its because there is a well-paid staff of cleaning ladies who will make beds and empty trash cans and wash dishes when we leave the condo to spend the day in the sand, and so I can spend time pondering rather than cleaning.
Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things.
I’ve been thinking about the waves, and the tides, and the crashing surf. Their perfect harmony amazes me.
I’ve been marinating on the sun, beating down on the sand and scorching toes and shoulders and noses. It’s beautiful heat thrills me.
I’ve been carefully watching the water, looking for anything black and pointy that may break the surface. I’ve been worrying, as only a mother can, that the sinister things, lurking beyond the perfection of the playful waves, will try to take their pound of flesh from one of my frolicking, laughing, sandy, sun-kissed babies.
All of it rolls around inside me, clanging, whispering, boiling, and then finally settling, until all the turmoil becomes truths for my spirit to soak in with the rays of the sun.
God is so perfectly personal in all He does, isn’t He? When we embrace that He created the sun and the surf and the tides and even the stupid sharks, and we ask Him to reveal something about Himself to us in it…it’s easy to see.
The sun beats down, hot and unforgiving, on the sand. And it scorches out the impurities that washed up on the shore with the water. And when the tide comes in and carries sand back out, its clean again.
The waves beat on the shore, ruining sand castles and lodging silt in bathing suits and carrying off misplaced shovels and sunglasses. But they can only come in so far. They can only do so much damage.
The pointy black fins of the creatures who want their pound of flesh are a very real presence, to be sure. But they, like the waves, can only come so close. They threaten, they strike fear, they are always lurking. But often the sun itself reveal their dark presence. And the waves, so perfectly timed, break over the fins so that they are revealed, and seen clearly for the danger that they are.
Oh, soul, can you see what He’s saying?
HE is the One who scorches the impurities from our lives.
He is the One who tells the waves “this far, and no further.”
He is the One who reveals the dark things that wait to destroy us, and He is the One who keeps us from being overcome by them.
It’s Him. He is all of it. The wind and the waves and the sun and the sea creatures…they shout of a perfectly personal God, who burns impurities from my life while also kissing my skin with warmth. He holds back the crushing waves while also allowing the water to clean and wash me, and rid my heart of things not needed. He sees the dark threats lurking, and He reveals them to me, reminding me to stay close to Him, and not venture far from the boundaries of peace and love and kindness and holiness that He set up for me.
And when I close my eyes, the waves and the wind sound like clapping. They sound like worship.
And why not?
He planned it all so perfectly.
So that I, so that we all, could feel and hear and see Him in every moment of our lives, in everything that surrounds us.
"He alone has spread out the heavens, and marches on the waves of the sea." Job 9:8