Last night I mentioned a book that I’m starting to read again titled Gift from the Sea. I posted a link last night to where you can buy it on Amazon, and I’ve included it again tonight because I really do think that there is a lot of truth in this book that can point back to many aspects of the Christian walk that we don’t necessarily see in our rushed modern society.
The chapters are all super short, and the first one is only three pages and speaks about getting into the rhythm of the beach. Of sitting by the shore and simply absorbing the sights, smells and sounds of waves lapping on the sand. Of taking the time to disconnect from the hustle that is modern life.
At the time this was written (in the 1950’s), life was at a snail’s pace compared to the over abundance of things that we are bombarded with every day. From the moment we wake up in the morning until long after we should be asleep at night, we are constantly surrounded by stimuli. For those with families, your children take time and energy throughout your day. For those like me who don’t have families (specifically spouses and kids), your days are likely filled with work to achieve some goal and when the work is done, any myriad of distractions.
That’s not to say that family and work aren’t good things. Quite the contrary! Both family and work are blessings from God. The sticking point comes when we are so caught up in completing this or that task that we miss the blessings each day, and don’t take time to be patient and wait for God’s best.
There are many areas where I know I have pushed ahead when God was clearly telling me to hold still and wait for his best. I’m certain that I’ve missed out on some of His blessings at one point or another because I didn’t exercise patience. This is something that I’m working on daily. My normal attitude is to want to have immediate results, but I know that God’s best comes through PATIENCE and FAITH.
Patience is something that I learned in high school not to pray for because invariably, that would be when God would send something to try my nerves so that I would learn patience. But that’s not the kind of patience I’m talking about here. This kind of patience is more akin to endurance. To coming back to belief even when things seem to be going so against it. It’s also striving to not rush ahead of God’s plan. To prayerfully consider the options and paths he sets before me before I jump onto any decision in particular.
It’s also staying the course when everything seems to go sideways. It’s knowing that I’m where God needs me to be even when the world is crumbling around my ears, even when the silver lining is hard to find, even when I’m enticed away by one temptation or another. It’s knowing that, for today, I am where God intends for me to be, even when I don’t understand his reasoning.
When I don’t understand his reasoning, for me, is the truest test of my faith. I find that in times surrounded by trials, I am quick to question the “WHY?” of situations. By contrast, many people find it hardest to keep faith on matters relating to food and shelter. I don’t as much have a hard time with that because of the wisdom in Matthew 6:25
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than the clothing?
I heard this verse, that is part of the Sermon on th Mount, as part of a Bible study in high school, and it has stuck with me ever since. I wish that I could remember what the sermon topic was, but I can’t.
Instead, I can remember what this verse has meant to me all these years.
The verse in Matthew, along with the Romans verse highlighted in todays image both speak to FAITH and PATIENCE. They speak to having faith that God will equip you in just the manner needed for you to complete the work he has set out for you. They also speak of having patience to wait expectantly for the bridegroom.
I guess at the end of the day, it really comes down to two questions:
- Do you have patience to relax into a less demanding way of life in order to patiently wait for God’s best?
- Do you have the faith to allow God to move in your life even when you may not know the outcome?
Because that’s what beach life is all about: Finding that space to relax and unwind and allow God to move in your soul and bless you with treasures that you couldn’t dig up if you tried.
Soli Deo Gloria