As I’ve thought about what to share in this medium, and the frequency…it’s hard to determine. Some weeks I could write something daily, and other weeks, I get stuck. This week, my brain is somewhere else and my writing is focused on more technical things. For that reason, I’m reaching for something in my archived file.
I began writing about 2 years ago and the piece below was my 3rd writing segment. It’s fun to look back and remember writing it. I also wrote this piece from one of my favorite places on earth–my aunt and uncle’s beach house. I am 2 weeks away from being there again, and my heart and head are ancy for vacation. So…today, readers…you’re getting an oldie, but a goodie from 2018:-).
Today as I write, I am sitting on the porch of my aunt/uncle’s fancy beach house. I am a boardwalk away from the beach where I’ve spent the last 4 days and am looking forward to several more. Despite the trees/houses the block my view of the ocean, I can hear the waves in the distance. I have found rest here. I always do at the beach—there is a special way I find an ability to disconnect and relax like no other kind of trip. And the Lord has been so sweet in surrounding me with family and friends I can enjoy, while also having some solitude to just spend with Jesus.
Yesterday morning I spent solo at the beach. As I looked out at the beautiful sky and watched the waves, he showed me some things about himself that were sweet. And I got a healthy dose of sun and time in the water that is good for my soul.
The water is strong here—strong current and the waves are crazy big. As I made my way deeper in the ocean, I found it harder to keep my feet on the ground. I nervously fought against the current/waves to keep my heels grounded and not get knocked over by the waves. I got a little frustrated b/c I wanted to enjoy the water and found myself playing defense against the waves and not being able to just delight. Finally, I lifted my heels……
The water carried me. The waves still crashed, but it was fun. I repeated this about 5 times—walking as far as I could up the beach to bounce into the water to float back to my towel. Being in the midst of the vast ocean with the saltwater crashing over my hat and sun glistening down, I found the delight I was looking for.
As I floated along in my raft, the Lord gently reminded me how often I do this with Him. How often I dig my heels into what I cannot control…. what I think should be happening…. growing frustrated by the things I typically find joy in……fearful of what I can’t see. I fail to trust His ability to carry me. And struggle to find the courage to lift my heels.
Some verses I have found encouragement in:
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I love the power in this verse—He has COMMANDED us to be strong and courageous. To be obedient to the Lord is to find courage. And it’s funny to me how He does command it—and He orchestrates experiences that require it….so you do learn to trust Him; you HAVE to. And the comfort He provides is in Himself—not that circumstances get better…. not that the waves quit crashing but that He is with us wherever it is we go. He is our security and our hope.
Psalms 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
I love this verse b/c it acknowledges the normalcy of fear in this fallen world…. WHEN I am afraid….
And I also love the action in this verse…. I PUT my trust in you. That word “put” is interesting. I imagine placing objects in my room or on the counter of my kitchen. What does it look like to put our trust in Him? I’m not quite sure, but my action-oriented self likes that word.
Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”
How often have I longed for these words to come from a man? “You are mine,” is such a strong statement—one of faithfulness and protection. A claiming of you for Himself. It indicates a relationship and an authority that is powerful and sturdy. And He acknowledges where that power comes from—He is the creator—He formed you—He gets to claim you.
As I think about the men in my lifetime I have wished to “claim me,” they are not this sturdy. No man is. Even the good…even the godly. I see that in the imperfectly loving men my friends are married to. I see their imperfections, but I also see their effort to love like this model. AND YET, we are all given access to this sturdy of a relationship—single or married. When I feel alone, I have the security of these words—someone has claimed me—first and always. THIS relationship isn’t going anywhere on either side of eternity.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
An intimidating verse…with ALL your heart. He doesn’t leave room for ½ hearted devotion. He demands all of you…. all of me. This is where I get in trouble. I’m good at partial devotion. I can give God some of my heart—I can find faith in some things—I can show courage in certain circumstances. But the ALL piece is tough. Just when I feel like I have given Him my whole heart, he shows me the section I’ve held back. I get annoyed that He wants that piece too……frustrated with myself that I haven’t quite learned how to do that….and stubbornly want that part for myself thinking it will give me freedom and failing to realize that it steals my joy.
And He will make your paths straight……a promise worth lifting your heels for. He knows bigger, dreams better than we do, and He knows our path from start to eternity…. I can trust Him to carry me.
So honest confession is that I am still that girl dancing on the bottom of the ocean floor, trying to find a way to keep my feet grounded…not yet having learned the way to float with the Lord. But I look forward to the ways He will teach me how.