I am living near a beach once more, and I find myself staring across the waves at distant horizons on my daily beach-walks. This time I also live near a port, bringing ships in all shapes and sizes to traverse that same thin line where today meets tomorrow. What is their destination? Where have they been, and what adventures have those inanimate vessels seen? My mind can only guess at the answers...
Often I find myself wondering about the course of my life. So many storms and unexpected waves of upheaval that threatened to sink me; yet countless sunrises bringing a new day, a continuation of the journey and sunsets that found me still floating at the end of the day!
This past month as I became reacquainted with solitary prayer walks along the shore, God has been speaking to my 'wandering' heart about the boundaries that He sets. He determines the place the sea may approach onto the beach on any given day. He has placed that line between sky and sea that I perceive as the end of my world; whereas it is only the limit of my ability to see. He has plans that continue past my understanding and out of my range of view.
I've been confused and nothing seems certain under my feet because all my ideas of how things should turn out have been washed away from under me. I struggle with the constant changes. It occurred to me after walking along the same beach every day for the past week, and every day the shore line is completely different, that God loves to create each day fresh in unique design. One day the beach is all shells and yellow sand, the next it has receded and coloured, polished rocks appear while yesterday's beach is having a swim in the ocean; only to return the next day in an altered format.
How can I find the unchanging nature of God in this creative chaos? It is in the boundaries. The fact that the sky sunny, cloudy or stormy remains in its place above me. The sea comes and goes within limits. He holds the tides within His control, and is aware of the exact placement of each grain of sand. I cannot press against His purposes without it bringing turmoil to my soul. If I desire peace and the purposes of God to come to pass in my life I need to find a way to float with the Spirit, and that takes faith in His sovereignty and trust in His loving character. These are the boundaries He operates within; always working towards my ultimate good.
As I stop and ponder on the underlying constancy that my heart desires within the changes thrust upon my, I hear God telling me to become once again as a child. Stand on the shore and just know that He holds the earth together, I don't need to worry. To open up my spirit to enjoy the changes, and release my need to understand it all. When I was small I loved nothing better than to stand right on the water's edge and let each wave move the sand beneath my feet. With every teasing rush and recession the sea attempted to knock me off my feet, and I would wriggle my toes into the sand as it covered my feet up to my ankles and I remained steadfast. Not sinking sand, but an adjustment into my circumstances.
This month I've rediscovered the joy of simple faith. That ability to find joy in the ebb and flow of life. I am standing on the edge of the water, looking at the distant horizon that promises heaven. My feet may be covered in the grains of earthly goings on, but my toes are wriggling in the sensation, and I am finding the wonder of His fluid presence.