No pun intended here. No matter how discouraging, life is a beach. I am not sure why, I am kind of frightened of the ocean or at least intimidated by it, but I love the beach. I love embracing the cooling waters as they crash upon the sand and refresh my tired feet. The cool breezes that blow past and the sound of the waves as they wash upon the sandy shore – it is so symbolic, beautiful, graceful, intense, exhilarating, humbling, reflective – this is where I experience God.
Just as a beach needs to be refreshed after the season ends, life – my life – yearns for the renewal of God’s sanctifying grace. Sitting in that beach chair without care or worry can get way too comfortable. Even when venturing to the water to take a dip, just like God, never turn your back on the ocean; you may find that you are knocked over by the waves. That is where I was about a year ago – sitting on that beach – and when I wasn’t looking I was knocked right out of that beach chair.
Things were going pretty good. I had a full-time job that sometimes took over and was the focus of my life. My need to prove myself over and over and the time I spent trying to gain acceptance where I was never going to find it was incessant. One day it all ended; literally devastated and visibly shaken I gathered my things and left never to return. No job, no income – I was a failure. All my hard work, all of my time had been spent in vain, all of my goals had been thwarted – or as I would soon see, I had lost sight of the One who blessed me. I had wasted God’s time with my selfish tunnel vision. I had blocked out the fullness of plans that my heavenly Father had for me. I truly believe if I hadn’t lost my job I would have become lost – lost for someone else’s gain. Even so, God waited – for me.
See the beach – my life – had been littered with debris; paperwork, red tape, time cards, payroll, checks, phone messages, ten hour days, a messy desk, a 2 hour commute and a dirty coffee pot. My motto “the children come first” had also lost its place. I walked blindly by the shoreline, weary and worn, secretly looking for relief from it all. Finally, the cleansing waves came, tumultuous, powerful and majestic washing away the debris from the beach. God brought –sanctifying grace – renewal and cleansing to my cluttered life.
I couldn’t handle the direction that things were headed in and God knew it. I know God didn’t want me to be penniless and devastated. No God had to take me out of a bad situation and bring me to my knees in humble submission. It took me some time to see the purpose and I did the usual questioning, “Why God did this happen?” “What am I going to do?” “What do you want me to do God?” And to this day I am still wondering why. The difference is that I look to God to give me the answers. I see that he has carried me through this past year. He has allowed me to proclaim His glory, His peace and see His hand in every situation. My beach is clean and refreshed with new treasures to be found. My life is before me and I still stand at the shoreline ready to jump into HIS waves of grace.