Monday, August 22, 2016

Ocean Epiphany

Our family took a little break by the ocean. It was nice to just sit there and watch the ocean in all its vastness, listen to the peaceful crashing waves, watch the seagulls soar through the air.

My husband and my daughter are very adventurous.  They swim out pretty far in the waters.  My son and I are not too adventurous and prefer to sit by the shore and just wade out a little bit.  For some reason we both have this fear of things touching us in the water and Evan has a deep fear of sharks.  He used to be obsessed with them as a child and read all kinds of books about them, so his fears aren't too unfounded.  He does know the research that shark bites are pretty rare, but the possibility still scares him.

So Alex and a friend were swimming out pretty far catching waves on their boogie boards.  Laughing and splashing and having much fun.  I sat on the shore and watched Evan holding tight to his boogie board standing with the water barely above his knees, fearful to walk out as far as they were.  Michael and I watched him for about 20 minutes as he stood paralyzed with fear to join them.

It made my heart so sad to see him afraid.  Michael finally got up and walked out to him and stood next to him with his arm around him watching the others play.  Then Michael slowly nudged Evan on his back pushing him out a little further.  He was eventually on his dad's back out as far as the others playing in the waves and having fun.  He wouldn't let Michael leave his side, and as long as his dad was with him, he was brave.

At that moment, this phrase in the Hillsong song "Oceans" came to mind: "Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your Sovereign hand will be my guide.  Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You've never failed and You won't start now."

I then thought about how many times I've stood paralyzed with the fear of the unknown.  Standing there watching others be courageous and brave and adventurous while I stand aside too afraid to move forward.  Then my heavenly Father puts His arms around me and slowly nudges me in the direction where He intends for me to go.  He is the one who gives me courage and moves me along.  And He NEVER leaves my side.

The ocean is such a cathartic experience.  It was literally "church" for me every day we sat there.  As I thought about how God's love for me is "more than the drops in the ocean", a fabulous song by Hawk Nelson.  Every time we hit an "unknown" in our life...which seems to be a lot...I know God is right there with us.  The unknown used to scare the life out of us, but it's getting easier.  I guess that means we are growing.  God knows everything (1 John 3:20) and nothing is "unknown" to Him, so therefore, nothing is unknown to me.

What a perfect visual picture seared into my mind as we are called out onto the waters.

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