For Thanksgiving break, my family and I traveled to Florida, seeing both my dad’s mother in Jacksonville, and my mom’s side in South Florida.
Ever since I was real little, I’ve had a draw to the beach. I’ve fallen in love with the crashing of the waves, the feeling of sand, the warmth of the sun, and the breeze. I’ve come to love snow out in Colorado, but there’s just something special about water. Swimming underwater during a thunderstorm is one of the coolest things. During a late night walk on the beach, and tears filling my eyes, God placed a burden on my heart. He opened my eyes to seeing how I worry when I don’t need to, instead of going into prayer, I question what God is doing in and through me. The Lord put an image on my mind, that helped me see my walk with Him over my life.
Life is like the beach, but the difference is where we walk. Do we walk along the shoreline, or next to the bushes/grass at beginning of the beach, or are we swimming in the ocean? Those who pursue Him, will dive headfirst into the waters and swim towards the horizon. But many of us, keep returning to the shore. And I will admit first hand, that I return to the shoreline all too many times.
Some of us stay on the pier, never touching the sand, never pursuing anything further. Some of us live our whole lives only walking along the start of the sand, either paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, or never knowing they could go farther. As you begin to walk towards the ocean, the sand begins to thicken, seaweed clutters the ground, tangling your toes, and more seashells cover the sand. I think so many of us get to the edge of the water, and love the feeling of water rushing over our feet, but we become too scared to actually head deeper into His waters.
We become paralyzed by the unknown. We get too impatient with waiting. Instead of heading in, we run back to the sand. Some of us may never try swimming again.
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:9-10
I would like to say I’ve always been one to dive deeper in Christ no matter the trials, but instead I’m one to run out of the water when times get too hard. One who spent many times walking along the thinnest part of the sand, not wanting to get any closer to Christ, staying away from Him. I’ve been one to cry out in my lowest moments, telling Him I’m done trusting, I’m done trying, and I’m doing life on my own. When setbacks happen, when losses occur, and when grief takes over, I run towards shore, rather than sitting in His waters of redemption and peace. There were several years filled with complete darkness, that I filled my life with materialistic things, and others, but my best friend, Elise came alongside me, and steered me back to the water. If I haven’t said it already, she’s a rockstar. (grateful for ya!) I realized that I couldn’t truly live without Jesus.
“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 43:2
There’re still times where it feels like waves keep pummeling me, but Jesus comes and picks me up. Teaching me that trials will still occur throughout my life, but instead of running away from Him, to draw near and He will fill me with peace. He will never let me drown, never let me fail, and never leave me alone when it feels like sharks are surrounding me. I like to think trials are like sharks, they will always be apart of our lives, but when we face them head-on with Jesus, they will not destroy us, and not consume us.
His waters of redemption, forgiveness, faithfulness, and patience are never-ending. And as the Sun rises ever morning, it’s a reminder to keep swimming to the horizon, where one day we’ll be reunited with Christ in Heaven.
Walking along the beach, listening to the album Greater: by Jess & Gabriel (!!!!), and hearing the waves crash, made me realize that I don’t fully trust God. I know He has a plan for me, I know that in my heart, but when trials surround me, I doubt. Currently going through a time where more unknowns for the future and present fill my head, than knowns, but learning to swim in His grace is key to being at peace. Still haven’t quite figured that out yet, but working on it. And lastly, I really missed the beach.
No successful tan lines this trip, but how crazy cool the beach really is.
God is so so cool for creating imagery to help us see His steadfastness at all times. No matter how lonesome a sea full of sharks can be, He is present.
Praying for those of y’all who’re also going through trials, that you may experience peace, and learn to keep swimming, rather than returning to the shore.