When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2a
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. Psalm 8:1
Last week I was blessed to have a five day vacation at the beach with my husband, my daughter and granddaughters. I love the beach! If you are now picturing me jumping into the surf, choosing the biggest, highest wave, stop right there and let me tell you, I. Can't. Swim.
That's right, I can't swim and beyond that, I have an outsized fear of the water. Still, I love the ocean and the pool in my backyard. Love them!
Over the last year I've been blessed to be at the beach several times. Each experience has been different. Last September I was at the beach with my husband and pretty much o one else. In the early mornings we would head to the beach and while my hubby did his metal detecting I would walk the beach, stopping every now and then to just listen to God. It was amazing! I had read where Dan Rather asked Mother Teresa what she said in prayer. Her response, “I listen.” He then asked what God said to her. She responded, “He listens.” On that quiet and lovely beach in September I experienced the truth of that. I listened and He listened.
Last week was entirely different. There were many, many people at the beach and of course, little ones right there with me. There was no time to just listen. Instead this time I saw.
I saw the gentle lapping of the water at the very edge. I saw huge waves building to higher heights and growing in power. I saw the strength of the sea, to propel my girls toward me on their boards but also to over power them and my husband. Standing there, watching the tide ebb and flow, feeling the current pulling at my feet I sensed the incredible power of God.
We are taught to fear God and many people balk at that suggestion. We need to fear God. Not in the way that I fear the water, a fear that suggests a desire to harm. No, we are to have a reverent fear of God and I believe that the ocean can give us a snapshot of that. God is loving, nurturing, merciful but He is also able to defeat and destroy. If He weren't then the enemy would win and we know that isn't the case.
The ocean is teeming with fish, sea creatures and power that I don't pretend to understand. God is all powerful. He created that ocean, the fish therein and He controls the tides and the waves. Watching those waves I was so grateful to belong to the Power behind them. So very thankful that He is for me and not against me.
I don't imagine for a minute that I have a total understanding of God, how He works, why He does what He does and allows what He allows. I don't know why I receive so many blessings, so much mercy and favor. I do know this. God's power is there for me. It's there for you. We only need to recognize, reach out for it and put ourselves into His might outstretched hand. Then the waves of life can build and crash against our shores and while we might get a little wet, we might even be drenched a time or two, we will remain safe in that mighty hand.