We came to the sea, and tears blurred vision, word-echoes muffled wave-sound on sand as more of me fell away. As if the wind moving the surf could sweep me into the water for washing.
Had I done enough, surrendered enough, opened myself enough to Him?
Wrapping arms around myself, I tried to breathe.
I felt utterly alone.
Had God abandoned me? Was He holding Him back from me because I had failed Him?
The waves came into focus, rolling insistently, repeatedly, endlessly along the shore.
The question repeated itself too, overwhelming me. “Have you ever…?”
No. I hadn’t.
The demand tore at me; I was in the sea now, water-crushed and winter-cold and so lonely, afraid even to beg help.
Didn’t He know; I couldn’t swim? Didn’t He remember; I hadn’t learned yet! Didn’t He see; I was drowning…
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)
I had just wanted to know Him. “Your face, O Lord, I will seek…” I had chosen this even over “right and wrong,” that distraction that constantly turned gaze inward, away from that face.
But even this, not enough? The lines were too blurred. I couldn’t reach Him. There was nothing left for me. I choked on water and wind and expectation.
Nothing left. There was no salvation here.
Except there was a Savior. There had to be a Savior. Messiah.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Immanuel. I remembered now.
God with us, wrapped in my dust, washing my feet, searing my soul with God-love that death itself could not quench.
I was not alone.
There He was, Jesus standing there with me, and I the little girl running across wet sand, could give nothing but my tears, for it was all too much for me.
And He wiped my face with His fingertips, with hands that still bear His earth-wounds, and raised my eyes to His Father’s face, so stern, so tender.
There was no demand. There was nothing to satiate His holiness that His Son hadn’t done in my place.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:18)
What grace, this? To know my desperate need, to sustain my empty with Christ-fullness, to create this space for my spirit to learn of eternal God-outside-of-time?
All this, and I was not abandoned. Not left to do and work and fulfill without Jesus filling me, changing me, sanctifying me. God with me, the Spirit-seal of His redemption, complete in Christ.
And I the child on this water-washed shore, discovering reflections of His glory.