The Surf, The Sand, and The
-- I love the ocean! Just ask my friends. Whenever those lazy, hazy,
crazy days of summer come calling, I'm usually one of the first to hang the
"gone to the beach" sign on my back door, and off I go!
Consequently, I'm also one of the ones who routinely comes home with an award
winning sunburn. I have such a good time while basking in the surf and sand
that I forget to re-apply the suntan protection ointment and end up with quite
On one particularly hot summer day, I ventured down to the tourist-packed
beach and unfolded my favorite striped beach towel. With sunglasses perched
squarely on my lotion-covered nose, I began to engage in the relaxing pastime
of watching the waves as they rolled to the shore.
As the foaming surf retreated, I watched as thousands of tiny glistening
pebbles rolled end over end while the sun danced across their marbled surfaces.
I managed to pick out a single stone and noticed how it had become perfectly
round by the constant movement of the tide.
Could there be a spiritual correlation? I began to think about how often
our own lives are molded and shaped by the pounding waves of adversity.
There is an old hymn that was written in 1873 by a man named Horatio Spafford.
He had just received word that his beloved wife and five children had all
drowned at sea as a result of a sinking vessel.
Though grief-stricken, he managed to pen the following words:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows
What ever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with
Whenever trials come our way, can we courageously respond in the same way?
Is it well with your soul today? Are you drifting helplessly along? Do you
feel like you are lost at sea?
My husband has a small brass plaque mounted in the cabin of our
sailboat that says, "O God, thy sea is so great and my boat
is so small." God understands that we sometimes lose our
way in the rough seas of life, causing us to feel overwhelmed
and bewildered. But God never gives us more than we can handle.
You can find that promise in I Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common
to man, but God is faithful, who will with the temptation, make
a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it.
God has thrown a life preserver to all of mankind. It comes to
us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. Have you grabbed on to
that ring of salvation yet? He is the sure anchor for our souls.
In His own words Jesus reminds us,
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6
Sometimes when I gaze out across the stormy coast, and watch
as flashes of lightning streak across the sky, and waves thrash
about, I think about an old fisherman's tale I once heard. The
story speaks about a lighthouse located around the shores of the
Cape Islands. In years gone by it had been a faithful guide to
many a lost sailor. The subject had come up at the local town
hall meeting to tear the lighthouse down. After all, the big ships
never passed that way anymore so what was the need in having it
In walks a crusty old seaman who begins to plead with the council
to let the lighthouse stand. He tells them the story of how on
one stormy night, when the wind and waves were tossing his vessel
about, he soon lost all sense of direction. The dark jagged rocks
were swiftly approaching, but just in time he saw the light! His
eyes welled with tears as he gazed upon the circling beam that
emanated from the lens of that old lighthouse. With strong emotion
he looked at the smug board members and said, "You see, if
it wasn't for the lighthouse, tell me, where would this ship be?"
You know, I believe all of us have our own story of how "just
in time" we saw the light. Yes, I suppose that's why I love
the ocean. To me, as I look upon all the elements that make up
the sea and her surroundings, I can see God's wonderful gift of
redemption symbolically reflected within the surf, the sand and
especially "The Son."
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