I love the water. I love the ocean and I love the mountain streams. Most Saturdays during the summer I pack my beach buggy full of healthy snacks, coconut oil, a good book, my blanket and my chair and head with whomever wants to go to the ocean. I stake our claim by the edge of the water early in the morning and spend the entire day soaking in the sun, sand and sound of the water. My youngest loves the ocean too. He and my nephew are like fish. With boogie boards in hand they are in the ocean as much as possible. Some days though when the red flags are flying high even I can not venture out past my calves. The rip currents are strong and I have watched dozens of people rescued over the summers. Then there are the days you can walk out as far as you want. The water is calm and the sea floor is smooth. There is something about my time at the ocean. The Lord speaks to me there and uses His creation to paint a picture of the things I am going through and lessons I can learn. At times when the water is raging and it is dangerous to even wade in He reminds me He is in that moment too. At times when the water is still and the sun is high and there isn’t a cloud in the sky He reminds me that He is there.
I read a quote yesterday morning that has been moving me ever since and reminding me of my lessons learned at the water’s edge.
“God is in the rushing and the still waters!”
He is in these moments where I feel like I am being pulled under. Where I am being tossed about and have no control. He is in the dark clouds, the rain, the thunder and the lightening. He created them even. He knows. Why then for a moment do I doubt that He is right there with me? Yet at times I do. Sometimes even it is because I think I know best and I venture into stormy waters I have no business being in. Last year one Saturday afternoon the ocean was really angry. We had been there since 9 a.m. and it was easily 3. I was hot and wanted to get in the water. All day I had not ventured past my knees. The water was knocking me over all day and it was just no fun but it was so hot. So I decided against every once of judgement to just go in a little further really quick to get wet. BAD choice. Before I knew it I was knocked down and being rolled down the ocean and pulled out. I know for sure I was in a rip current. The water would have been thigh deep had it not been so angry but it was washing over me. It ripped my pony tail holder from my hair. I couldn’t stand. Several people came to help me. By the time I got up my legs were raw from the ocean floor. I was winded and my heart threatened to beat out of my chest. God was there but had I listened to the warning bells going off in my head I would have just settled for sticking my feet in the water and I wouldn’t have needed to be rescued.
He is in the storm! Even the ones I walk right into because I think I know better. Some people chase storms and I think they are nuts but I do the same thing. Somtimes I look for trouble because I think I can help or no best or have lost my mind. There is beauty and power and even a pull in those storms. Some are allowed to touch my life for a reason. Others I choose and He uses. He is in those moments and all I need to do is have faith and trust that He will speak to these storms. I can’t control them but He can.
Matthew 4: 35-41
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!
He is in the moments where all is still. He is there in those quiet moments. There are times when I sit on that beach and the water is calm and the kids are playing and the wind is softly blowing and I am in awe of His creation. He longs for me to invite Him into all these still moments. The ones that tend to become like “going through the motions”. He wants to be there to celebrate the good and quiet and wonderful moments. The noisy and loud and laughter filled moments. He cares about the details of my life. For in the details there is calm and there is storms. There is still and there is raging. He wants to be in it all. To guide and direct and lead me.
As I learn to listen to Him and draw near to Him He will direct my paths. That requires action on my part. Letting go and trusting. Not trying to control. Learning to live in the still and in the storm. I need to trust Him and not panic. When the winds pick up and I start to feel overwhelmed. Like Peter, I tend to panic sometimes.
Matthew 14: 22- 32
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Letting go of fear and instead Facing Each Adventure Remembering HE is GOD and GOD alone.
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Today as I let go and let GOD, as I learn more about what that means and as I face the still and the storm I let go of the things that bind me. The things that I have allowed to control me and fill me with doubt and fear. The bricks I placed in my life thinking they would protect me. The things that I have allowed to define me that are not in the plan God has for me. Today I live and embrace and am enjoying the change. The change in perspective. For what once was a storm is now an adventure. It might blow in like a late day thunderstorm or linger like a nor’easter but either way HE is my GOD and HE calms the storm and speaks to me in the whisper of the wind.