I was 24 years before I first saw the ocean. Being a Kentucky farm girl, our family did not make the traditional beach trip for vacations. So I was very excited as a young bride when my new husband and I drove into Hilton Head Island, South Carolina late one Sunday Night and he suggested we take a stroll on the beach before checking into our motel. I remember the smell of the salt water, the feel of the mist on my skin, the sand squishing between my toes and how absolutely terrified I was of the sound of the water as it came to shore. It was pitch dark so I couldn’t see the waves or where they were breaking out in the vast blackness, I just knew that I was going to be washed away by the very next wall of water which I could hear coming our way. Needless to say it wasn’t a very romantic beach walk and I’m sure my husband began to have second thoughts about his foolish young bride. My relationship with the ocean quickly changed the next morning as I encountered it again. This time when the ocean and I met, the sun was shining brightly as the waves rhythmically came to shore lulling me into a trance. A trance of beauty and tranquility that has kept me coming back for over 20 years since that first terrifying encounter. To me the ocean is a spiritual experience.
There are days the waves are calm, the water is clear, the sky is blue, and the breeze is warm. And there are days the bills are paid, the toilet doesn’t overflow, the kids don’t bicker, the boss doesn’t gripe, your husband holds you close. You feel God’s presence. You are floating on your rubber- ducky raft sipping lemonade
And then out of nowhere, you feel the water pulling from out beneath you, the clouds quickly gather, you feel a chill. Your ducky raft is long- gone. Do you dare look behind you? You know it’s there. Do you try to beat it to shore? Do you just take another sip of lemonade and pretend it’s not there? Maybe it will go away. Is it a Wave of Sickness? Wave of Divorce? Wave of an unexpected Layoff? Or the Chilly Wave of Death? Oh, the waters are getting rough; it’s starting to thunder and lightening. Where is God now we wonder, when we really need Him?
We need a Lifeguard when these waves of Life come upon us. The Psalmist speaks of those that “do business in great waters”:
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For
He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves
thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths.;
Their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger
like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in
their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the
storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because
they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Psalm 107: 23-30
What a great resume for a Lifeguard. One who maketh the storm calm, stills the waves and brings us into our desired havens. I know many times I get in water I know I shouldn’t—even after reading the sign—No swimming—DANGER! I tread right in, way over my head, thinking I’m above the rules, experienced enough in life to handle the swift currents, jellyfish stings and those blood thirsty sharks seeking whom they may devour. But then just like the scripture describes, my heart melts, I reel to and fro finding myself at my wit’s end -then I cry unto the Lord.
The wonderful thing is, my Lifeguard comes to the rescue every time. There is a marvelous Savior, His name is Jesus Christ, watching, protecting, loving us as we sail life’s sea. We must learn to put our trust in Him so that He can calm our storms in this world and bring us safely to our “desired Haven” when we have reached the end of our voyage.
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