My family is on vacation at the beach and it is both wonderful and extremely stressful.
It is wonderful because the ocean takes my breath away every time I see it. And, every time I see it, I drink it in like it is new to me. Because it feels that way and in those moments I cannot help but whisper, Thank you to God for his incredible creativity when he called this world into being.
It is stressful because my girls are 4.5 and 6.5 and they require grace and patience that saps even the reserves I hope to have ready. There are meltdowns and tears and whining and the need for things to happen in an instant. And that is when I am sorely pierced, you know? Because I am watching myself. I am watching myself as I converse with God, which is not exactly a conversing but a complaining and a demanding and a temper tantrum based on ill-perceived wants that masquerade as needs.
And tonight, as everyone sleeps from a long day of playing hard in the waves and the fresh salt air, I sit on the screened in porch watching heat lightening flicker like Morse Code on the night sky and I wonder what message God is sending me. With the rumble of thunder finally echoing in the distance, I know that a storm is coming, and I cannot help but wonder if God is giving me fair warning about the approaching storm.
And, even as I ponder that idea, I wonder how often God has tried to provide me warning of an impending storm that I have not heeded. That I have missed entirely, until it is upon me. Until the rain is pouring down and the thunder is sounding with barely a breath between rolls and the lightening in flashing with only a beat or two in between.
Watching the night sky flicker and flash around me, I realize that the storms in which I have been caught surprise me because I have not sought my Savior’s presence. I have not started my day with Him. I have not taken time to be still or taken time to listen for His still small voice. Instead, I have rushed into my day. I have run headlong into the busyness of my To Do list and my ideas of what needs my attention.
And then, the storm.
And the questions. How did this happen? How did I not see this coming? Why didn’t God give me some kind of warning? A heads up?
And there before me are my children. On the beach. Running towards the waves, excited and full of their own ideas and the joy of the moment. Running toward the waves and not heeding my words, my warnings.
I am watching myself. I am watching the relationship I have with my Father in heaven. Hearing, but not heeding. Running ahead of Him, heading for the waves and the joy and the moment because that’s all i can see in front of me.
Until the wave I didn’t see crashes over me. Until I lose my footing on the uneven sand beneath the water that I cannot see; the hole that catches my foot and sends me falling. Until I am splayed out in the sea with saltwater in my eyes and in my nose and in my mouth.
And I turn, seeking the One who loves me and who can comfort me and who will wipe the stinging water from my eyes and soothe me with whispers in my ear that everything’s okay. That it will be okay.
And I let Him make it better.
And wish that I had hear His warning so that I wasn’t awash in the stinging salt of my pain and my tears.
Even so, He doesn’t withhold his care because His ways are not my ways and His Love is not my love.
Despite my lack of surrender. In spite of my need to keep control. No matter my failed attempt to do things my way. He is there. He is there to wipe away my tears and to whisper assurance to my heart. He is there to love me, to comfort me, to guide me. To forgive me. To wash me whiter than snow.
He is there, tonight, in the lightening flashing behind the darkened clouds, to remind me to tune in to His words, to His presence, to His promises.
Every flash, every flicker, every illuminating moment surrounds me like his Love. A message of Truth. A reminder to trust and to surrender and to heed.
So, tell me, friend, how is your journey of surrender going so far?