My family and I were once again amazed at the diverseness of our God’s creation yesterday as we visited a place that we normally don’t. We haven’t actually been there for about ten years. I am literally twice as old as I was the last time we went — and then some. Any guesses?
We realized that only the four older people in our family have actually seen the breathtaking view of the ocean. Felt the waves. Marveled at God’s vastness. Half of our family have never seen it. We have explained, and they have seen pictures. But there is something about actually seeing it. Being there. Feeling the wind in your hair, feeling the waves crash on shore, and being pulled along as they leave, smoothing out the sand and burying your feet.
The reason we haven’t been isn’t because we don’t like the beach. It isn’t because we live so far from it. The reason is because of the…ahem….attire of the beach goers. Isn’t it sad that so much beauty is marred, that God’s creation can’t be seen, by people desiring to keep their eyes and hearts and minds pure because of the swim-wear so many people, especially the ladies, wear?
On the way down here Mama and I were talking about how we would be so close to the ocean, and how it would be nice to find a place for everyone to see it. Then we decided it was too risky — too many floozy swimsuits. I had thought it would be a romantic thing to eat a picnic as the sun went down, because surely no one but us would be crazy enough to want to go on the beach with all the critters after dark. But we didn’t. It had been a long day, and we had a sudden change of plans on where we would be staying. We were tired, the little ones needed to eat dinner and get out of the car. And I thought that would be the end of the talk about the beach. Because we normally don’t go. I actually had no desire to go, outside the fact that the little ones wouldn’t get to see it.
After a night in the hotel, we went for a drive the next day, to see what there was to see. On our drive, we saw many beach houses, and the yard was sand that stretched down to the beach. I was content with the fact that the little ones were able to see it, and I expected nothing more. Then Daddy found a place to park, with access to the beach. There was no one around on the road, and when we pulled into the parking area, there was one car. One car. And that one car had three people in it that had camped out a good ways down the beach from where we would be. So Dad suggested that we get out, and let the water cover our toes, search for seashells, and take time to stop and see the beauty surrounding us. Which in itself was another big surprise, because he hates the sand and the mess it makes.
As we were getting out of the van, I had a sweet little sister asking me why we were going to play in the snow when we didn’t have jackets on. And why it was even snowing, anyways, since it was so hot outside. We had to laugh at that one. It was too cute not to :-)
It was so much fun to see the little ones faces. To hear their exclamations of delight and sheer joy. To see them look at the ocean with surprise in their little faces, and to see the smile that slowly worked it’s way across their faces, as they would laugh with delight. I don’t think we stopped smiling the whole time we were there and could see the water and laugh at the little ones antics.
We had permission to get our feet wet. To experience the pulling and lapping of the water at our feet. To search for shells and build sand castles. The boys went from getting their feet wet to….
……being wet all over — and loving every minute of it! Because they aren’t scared, or intimidated easily. Because they want to do the hard things, and have fun doing them. Because they don’t think about the dangers of a rough ocean. They just get out there and have fun. Which is a lesson I could learn from them. All too often I am thinking about all the possible dangers and all the scenarios of “what if…..” to have fun.
Looking at the vastness of the ocean reminded us a great deal of the vastness of our Lord’s loving, tender care over us. We were amazed at the fact that my mother and little sister, and consequently, youngest brother, were there to enjoy the amazing sight with us. They could easily have died three and a half years ago, but our Lord kept them in His care, and taught us that He never fails, and is always the same.
Just this week I received a letter from a dear friend, and part of it, more than any other, made me stop and think. And praise our Lord’s goodness to my family. She wrote and asked me if I would mind praying for a family she knows. Their sixteen year old daughter complained of a headache one day, The next day she collapsed, and after surgery she never woke up. The problem sounded like the same thing that was wrong with my own mother — a mis-formed blood vessel in the brain, causing too much pressure on the surrounding ones, and thus causing the blood vessels to burst. Yet she died, and my mother lived. Do you know how many times I have heard doctors exclaim in amazement, “You shouldn’t be alive! There is no medical reason that you are alive!” We smile and say “Yes, our God is sovereign and holds life and death in His hands.”
So about an hour after being there, we noticed this little guy following us around:
He was so very cute, and not a bit frightened. Daddy decided to feed them a bag of pretzels we had left from the ride down here, and this little guy was soon joined by a whole flock of fellow seagulls, practically eating out of my father’s hand.
The all just hovered in the air. And while they were fighting over the pretzels that they so coveted, a blue herring decided to check it all out.
A little shrimp was even washed up on shore, and scooped up by eager hands to be examined and scrutinized before being returned to the ocean. I can’t say I have ever seen a live shrimp before!
It was so much fun to watch everyone enjoying themselves and having so much fun:
As people started to build sand castles to dry off before getting in the water, my eight year old brother astounded me. He was trying his hardest to build a big castle, and the waves kept crashing and pulling it down as they receded.
He looked at Mama and told her that it reminded him of having courage to stand against the wiles of the devil, and how we all needed to have a strong wall built around our lives. I was amazed that my little brother could use the waves knocking down his castle as an object lesson that would makes sense. I am thankful to the Lord for such a brother. My siblings and I prayed for years that we would be blessed with an older brother when we were younger. As we grew we realized that just wasn’t possible. And we were all blessed with four younger brothers, little men to shape and fashion and train for the future, for the generations to come, for the wives that the Lord is preparing for them, for the kingdom of God. Little boys who will soon be young men and will have to learn to turn away from evil and be responsible for keeping themselves pure and holy before the Lord.
We had fun. Lots of fun. I will always remember going and experiencing it anew through the little ones eyes.
I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command, and all the stars obey.
“I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.
“There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.”
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.