More powerful than the roar of many waters, more powerful than the breakers of the sea, powerful in the heavens is the LORD. (Psalm 93:4)
My first glimpse of the ocean was at crowded Mission Beach in San Diego as a young bride. Once I saw the breathtaking splendor and power of God’s creation where waves meet sky, I was hooked. Now I look for every possible opportunity to relax on any beach, anywhere. In Maui, the most gorgeous native natural habitat surrounds the almost endless beaches. I have even seen this panorama from a parasail 500 feet above Kauai, Maui and Molokai.
In Hawaii or Texas, I enjoy the waves pounding the sand and the circling gulls awaiting my every crumb. Walking on the beaches from Coronado Island to Cape Cod thrills me. Even January in Oregon, the foggy skies overhead, gusty wind on my face and freezing water lapping on my timid toes, bring me incredible joy.
A recent day on familiar Vanderbilt Beach on the Florida Gulf Coast recalled many exciting experiences in our sunshine times playing with our children and young grandchildren. I can’t forget those winter times of consolation and comfort when we came here to soften our heartbreak and find acceptance of our tragedies.
No matter the season, the ocean’s ebb and flow upon the shore is steadfast yet always changing like God’s faithful love for us. It edges closer and closer to us with every moment of our lives. Then it retreats a little so as not to overwhelm us before approaching us again in the rhythm of his creation.
God beckons us to wade into the depths of his life, his ocean of mercy and love. His joy alive in our hearts is as constant as the waves rising ever higher and higher as they approach closer and closer. Don’t be afraid to wallow there with complete abandon!
Lord, your mercy reaches to heaven; your fidelity, to the clouds. Your justice is like the highest mountains; your judgments, like the mighty deep. (Psalm 36:6-7)
In the off-season when the sunshine feelings are hard to find, keep looking for him anyway in the unmarred sand and sacred solitude of the shore. A winter heart doesn’t naturally welcome the cold wind and waves of life. Trust that he awaits you there, deep in your soul to warm you with his embrace. He longs for you to experience his faithfulness in every season and on every shore.
Where do you find joy hiding beneath your difficulties?
(© 2014 Nancy H C Ward)