“Lord, I need to get away. Please help me find a spot alone.”
The warm ocean breeze blew softly as the waves pounded the shore. The sounds of the surf continued to echo as the noise of others faded in the distance. Finally, after a long walk, I found myself alone.
I flung the towel on the sand in a halfway manner before collapsing face down. Hot tears flowed as the fears for my marriage, and my kids attacked in full force.
“Father, so many things are wrong in my life. Tom seems so distant in his looks and touch. Both kids are angry all the time, and I don’t blame them. All we ever do is fight. Lord, I can’t take anymore. What am I suppose to do now?”
No answers came with only the waves roaring in the background.
Later, I finally turned to look out over the wonder of the ocean. The waves continually rushed in and raced back out, repeating the age-old ritual. Within minutes, several mounds of sand caught my attention. Uniquely formed by the bucket of a child at play earlier, they stood like soldiers guarding the beach.
Soon the tide turned and the waves again inched forward, slowly reclaiming their rightful place as ruler of the beach. Each surge closed ranks on the beach sentinels. The battle would be swift and lethal, but a sure victory for the salty ruler.
“Imagine for a moment these mounds are the issues in your life,” the Lord prompted my spirit. Allowing my imagination to run wild, each sentry suddenly became a symbol of my problems. My home, family, work and even church stood at attention on the shifting sands.
‘General Tom’ the commander-in-chief, stood tall and proud, guarding the shore demanding the honor of his rank. He carried the burden of not only our marriage, but the entire welfare of my little family. What would we do? Where could we go from here? Our love and marriage were in dire need of a morale boost.
By his side, I stood, Lieutenant Colonel. The wind distorted the soldier’s original form, warping it much like my weary spirit. A small smile and chuckle escaped at the absurdity of my thoughts. Nevertheless, I quickly returned to my gaze to the guardians of the beach.
Master Sergeant Cindy defiantly stood in formation. A good kid, but a typical teenage struggling to discover her place in this world. Her barricade stood erect preventing passage by those who loved her, especially the Lord. At one time, she was on fire for Him, but the strain in our family had pushed her away.
Next in line and rank stood Private Benjamin, not quite a teenager, but no longer my little boy. He had shied away from the constant conflicts, spending more time in his room. Even now, my heart ached for the obvious misery each soldier felt. I looked at each remaining form and meditated on issue at hand.
“Lord, I am sick and tired of the enemy having reign in our lives. It makes me so angry and he seems to be winning. My home should be a safe haven from the world, not this war zone. This is not right Father, I ask you to do a deep work within each of us. Please help us. Begin with me, Lord,” sobs flowed again.
Quickly, a flood of images and memories came.
“Father, forgive me. I am just as selfish and stubborn as I accuse them of being. I reacted in pride and demanded my own way. Cleanse my heart and spirit. Teach me how to walk in Your ways. Lord, help me.”
Lost in my memories, I repented of each event as the Lord revealed them. Later, I looked at the sand soldiers; they had lost their battle in the rolling tide.
“Just as the waves washed away the images of your imaginary sentries, allow My peace to wash away your fears. Let me be God in your life. Nothing is impossible but you must trust Me.”
A soft smile grew as I listened closely to the prompting of the Lord.
“Yes, Lord. Teach me to wait on You.”
As His peace settled the sands of my fears, I quickly leapt up and worked my way down the beach. For the first time in a very long time, I was anxious to get home. There were no miraculous changes in these few hours. Well maybe just one … me.
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