Not long ago, I stood on the long pier that stretches from the shore of Daytona Beach out into the water. After my extremely warm morning run, that I wrote about in my last blog, I decided to cool off by walking on the pier. The breeze was blowing; it felt so cool. I love the beach, and I would live near the beach if I had my choice. Seems like the easiest place to clear my mind and let my worries float away. I love to sit and watch the kids playing in the water and sand and think about my own boys playing in the waves when they were little. Times when Holt begged us to bury him in the sand and all but his chubby, little face was sticking out. We put a pair of sunglasses on him and took his picture with a huge grin on his sandy face. It grossed me out, but he loved it.
I like to watch people, all the families sitting nearby. I wonder to myself where they are from and what their lives are like. I watch them interact with one another, and watching them makes me wish that my family was still complete and on vacation together. Despite the bittersweet memories, the beach is a place where I feel so close to the Lord. There is a lot of symbolism with the ocean and God’s love for us. I have heard the saying,”God’s love is like the ocean. There is no beginning and no end.” Now every time I stare across the seemingly endless water, I think about how very great that love really is.
As I looked out from that pier a few weeks ago, I prayed for the Lord to speak to me, to tell me something that I needed to hear. God, in His goodness, answered that prayer. As I looked out over the vast water on both sides of the pier, God asked me, “Who made this ocean?”
“You did,” Lord, I thought.
“Just look at it. How it reaches places that you have never been. Depths so deep you can only imagine what lies beneath and the thousands of miles traveling from side to side.”
I looked out over the surface and imagined all the creatures in the sea. How amazing to think of all the creatures that are in the ocean that we cannot see from our view on the shore. I turned and looked out over the other side of the pier, I saw the same. As far as my eyes could see, unending blue waves and bright sky. In the midst of that majestic creation, that so many take for granted, I sensed God telling me, “I created this ocean, the tides, and every creature in this sea. What you see here is just a tiny part of my might. I am the one who is in control.”
I continued to stare at the water right beneath the pier and saw the waves bouncing to and fro. I thought God, “It is so easy to think that you are powerless this in this day and time. Evil all around seems to get the upper hand, but you are right, the God that made this massive ocean, has to be more powerful that anything or anyone that tries to claim power over this tiny world of mine.”
As I thought about that ocean and God’s control over the world, I felt the power that I had given other people and things in my life begin to shrink. I could see those obstacles growing smaller and smaller, with less ability to control my life, and when I focused on the creator of that ocean, I could feel the confidence of God’s control over my life getting stronger.
Looking at that water, I could not help but think about how Dave and Hunter had stood on the shore, just a week before, looking out over the crystal blue water on a beach in the Dominican. That water, although hundreds of miles away from where I stood, was made by the same God, and would eventually mix with the water in front of me. Questions in my mind about how God could help us develop a ministry so far away raced through my mind, yet He reminded me again, “I am in control. It’s not just what you see, but I am controlling what you cannot see too. Places you have never been and can only imagine. I’m already there.” My confidence in God’s control over my life and our foundation grew stronger yet again.
It is so easy to think that other people and circumstances hold all the power in our lives. Sometimes we cannot imagine a solution to our problems or the possibility of a way to break free. God is bigger than the things of this world that try to control us. He is bigger than the people we think control our tiny world. He is in control, and as long as we remember that, it releases God’s power to increase in our lives. From shore to shore, and every place in between, he is the one who is really in charge.