This morning I am watching the waves crash against the shore. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of the beach and ocean. However, the more I am around it, the more it grows on me. When you look out, all you can see is the water. It does not appear to ever end. I know it does, but forgetting that minute fact, I see the ocean much like God’s love for me.
It never ends. It is deeper that I can even possibly imagine. It surrounds me in all that I do. At times it is calm while at others times it is a little more choppy, rough even, and feel completely overwhelming. At times it can be scary, yet I know that I am completely safe. God’s love always carries me and sustains me. Often it moves me from one place to another. Sometimes slowly with a pulling and leading here and there, like floating on raft and suddenly realizing that you have drifted further than you thought. Other times it knocks me off my feet and by the time I am able to regain my footing God has moved e to a completely different place. These moments are the scariest. You have no control, and at times it feels like I am not going to even survive the experience- that this process may literally kill me.
I guess you could compare it to drowning. At times you are taking in so much water that panic ensues. You cannot catch your breath no matter what you do, and when you get a breath it is not life giving oxygen you crave, but rather sea water. The saltiness of that water is not pleasant. It burns as it goes down, but like a dehydrated child needs sodium to balance their electrolytes, the salt water has a healing effect. While you cannot even imagine that is doing any good, if you did not receive it you would die.
When you have been in the ocean you can feel the salt all over your skin when you get out. As a matter of fact even a walk down the beach can leave that salty, sandy residue all over your body. It is the same with God’s love. You can feel the difference having been in His presence and many times others can tell as well. They might have to get close and reach out touch you to feel the difference. However, there is no mistaking someone who has been in the presence of God. They have a glow, a radiance about them, like someone who has been at the beach all day.
Whether you have been swimming in the ocean or just strolled down the beach, the sand and salt residue remains. You can feel it, see it, and taste it. It affects all your senses. The scent, the taste, the feeling, remains as long as you don’t take a shower in the “world.”
The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea--the LORD on high is mighty.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-- everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.Habakkuk 2:14