Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Beach and God's nature....

We just returned from the beach a couple of days ago and I'm still trying to recoup! Isn't it funny how you always seem to need a vacation after a vacation?

We had a good time...Emma had a blast. It was her first time in the sand and the ocean. It really was priceless watching her experience all that the sand and surf had to offer. She was crazy about the the beach and sand. And she loved being held as the waves came in, but put her in the water and you had a fight on your hands! Just like her Momma!

I've never been too keen on the ocean itself. I don't mind pools, but any body of water that I can't see the bottom of kind of intimidates me. Having said that, I did get in the ocean and this time, I not only enjoyed myself, I learned something, too.

The only complaint I have about our trip was the lack of sleep I experienced. It was a combination of things contributing to my sleepless nights...snoring, conjestion and not being in my own bed. Plus I forgot my pillow. So there were several times that I was wide awake at 3:00 am just wondering what I could do in a hotel room with four other people that wouldn't wake them up.

One time I went to the bathroom and tweezed my eyebrows. Another time I slathered lotion on my dry heels for 45 minutes. Yet another time I decided to go out on the balcony and listen to the waves. It was here that I think I discovered what I think is part of God's in His character.

As I sat up on our tenth floor balcony and looked down at the ocean below, it was amazing how small and unassuming the waves appeared. It all looked so docile and gentle. Of course from that height, every thing looked small so I knew right off that my perception of the ocean and all it's splendor was a bit skewed.

The next day all of my pondering was validated when I actually got in the water and was knocked about by crashing waves and pulled sideways by strong currants. This gentle ocean view from the tenth floor was nothing of the such up close and personal. Instead, it was down right powerful, demanding even. The ocean exhibited nothing that it had in the wee morning hours. In fact, it was the total opposite.

That got me thinking....

God, I think, is like the ocean.

And too much of the time, regarless of claiming to walk with Christ, my view of Him is totally distorted because I haven't really allowed myself to truly live in relationship to Him. From afar He looks like this quiet, meek God. A God that I don't rely on to do great things in my life because I get in my own way. This is my tenth floor view of Him.

Only when I get close to Him and allow His grace, love and joy to penetrate my heart do I realize that He is a strong, determined and passionate God. He pulls me to Him and His will is such that He is top priority in my life. This God, the forceful waves and unyielding currant God, is the true One the way I see it.

Yet still, as powerful as He is, He gives us the choice to live in relation with Him or not.

My affliction to the ocean and it's depths I also feel perfectly describes the distance I too often put between God and I. I know how tough it is to stay afloat. I feel how easy it is to lose my balance and succomb to the power of the water. It's hard to be in the ocean. It's a workout. That's why I don't like it.

The same is true for being close to Jesus. It's not easy. In fact, it involves denying yourself and carrying your cross alongside of Him. It takes commitment and perseverance. It's hard to be a Christ follower. It's an emotional and spiritual workout.

That's why it's easier to take the high road and instead of really walk the walk, just talk as if I do. Avoiding all the pain and suffering that comes along with the total stripping of your character so as to stay kneeled at the foot of the cross.

But just as I look around and see others laughing and bouncing in the surf...enjoying the calm once they are past the waves breaking, so too is the joy and peace of the Lord if we get to know Him and let Him work in our lives.

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