Why, hello people I love.
Has anyone told you today that you are amazing? No?
You're amazing! You are the bomb dot com and I am so glad that you are here! Lately we've been covering some pretty heavy stuff and you guys have been great! I've loved hearing your feedback and words of encouragement. You'll never know how much it means to me.
This post is a little bit different. Almost a month ago (where has July gone?!) I was at the beach and some time to sit on the beach and just listen for God's voice. It was an incredible experience. Maybe one day I'll share more about that but for now, here are just a few things the ocean taught me while I was there:
1. We're drowning in an ocean of grace and it's the only thing that can save us.
We are all sinking into a bottomless, limitless, unrelenting ocean full of grace and we're hopeless. There's nothing we can do to stop it. We can fight it for all of our lives and stay as close to the surface as possible but it will kill us. Until we stop fighting the grace that wants to drag us deeper into its being, we will be missing out on the greatest gift that was ever given to us: Jesus Christ. Stop fighting. Drown in this ocean of grace because it truly is the only thing that can save you.
Drag me deeper and deeper, Lord.
2. Being still and silent is sometimes more necessary than pretty words.
I have found that people don't always need you to have a response when they're unpacking their struggles for you. Sometimes, they just want to unpack and need you to listen. It's surprising how much you can learn from what is being said (and not said) by just listening.
Sometimes words aren't necessary in prayer. Sometimes we need to sit down, shut up, and open our hearts and let Christ intercede on our behalf. God knows what's in our hearts and once we are still and quiet enough to be open and vulnerable to Him, He will fill you, comfort you, sustain you, strengthen you, give you hope, give you life, and just be your God. He's so amazing and beautiful and wonderful that it makes my soul sing.
3. All of nature has a song. Some voices are louder than others but every voice and every song worships and edifies the Lord God Almighty.
The ocean has one of the most powerful songs on the entire planet. It's beautifully dangerous and incredibly profound for several reasons. It listens and obeys the Lord without questioning Him. When He says, "Tide, it's time to come in." The tide comes in. There are hurricanes with waves and winds that seem to be out of control but in reality, each wave and each gust of wind has been intentionally commanded and unquestioningly obeyed. The ocean's unwavering obedience is it's song and it sings day in and day out without dependence on how it "feels." Feelings are fickle and regardless of how we feel, God more than worthy of our worship.
4. The waves are a perfect representation of God's vast power and unbelievable restraint.
This is a big one. The ocean is so big, so wide and so deep and is easily a representative of the width, depth, and greatness of the love of Christ. It also is a representative of His strength and grace. The tide only comes but so far and even during hurricanes and tsunamis, the waves are only so strong and come so far inland. At any moment, God could command the ocean to flatten us all and the ocean would obey. Are we forgetting that God flooded the earth? Yes, He promised He would never do it again but it doesn't mean that He couldn't.
If you ask me, we're no better than we were in Noah's day and God could definitely "teach us a lesson" but He shows us so much grace over and over again. We're still here. We woke up this morning and our hearts are still beating. THAT is amazing grace.
5. The tide comes and goes but the One who makes the tide stays forever.
There is something so fascinating about the tide to me. It comes in and goes back out but only at certain times of the day. Sometimes in comes in quickly but lingers when it goes out and other times it's the opposite. The waters of the ocean are constantly changing but God, who made the ocean and commands the tide, remains constant. We can always count on His consistency and His love. Those two things are non-negotiable.
6. What I look like doesn't matter to the ocean. Who I am doesn't matter to the ocean. Where I've come from and what I've done doesn't matter to the ocean. All that matters is that I'm there.
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what we look like, where we come from, or what we've done. Christ accepts us as we are. He died for our best days and our worst days. You don't have to get your mess together to come to Jesus. Come to Him broken, hurting, and all bent out of shape. He wants to fix it. He died to fix it. When Christ looks at you, He doesn't see the mess that you're in. He sees what His perfect, redemptive work looks like in you. He knows what the end result will be and loves you even though you ain't there yet. If that's not reason enough to abandon everything you've ever known and follow Him, then I don't know what is.
7. My heart's desire is for my worship to be like that of the ocean's: constantly moving, always singing, all-encompassing, never worrying, and self-abandoning.
I want my worship to always be growing and to never stop. I want my worship to be so much a part of my every day life that corporate worship is just icing on the cake and not the sustenance of my worship. I want my heart to be so full of Christ's love and grace that there is no room for any kind of worry, anxiety, or nervousness. I want my worship to be an exact mirror of Christ's life: a willing and obedient servant, even to death. I've got a long way to go but we're working on it.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.