Monday, September 19, 2011

Lessons from the Beach - Sunday

Hi!   It has been quite a while since I added anything to my blog but the time seems right to start posting again!   I am on The Outer Banks this week with my family.... our annual trip, and I am using my time wisely... spending some time with family and time alone with God.    I was walking the beach this morning, praising and praying with our Awesome Creator and He gave me a good lesson from the beach.   I'm anticipating more lessons this week so I thought it would be fun to share them.  I pray it encourages, convicts, edifies... whatever it is that it's supposed to do for YOU!  :)

It is quite stormy here today.   Windy, rained all day yesterday and into the night, dark and dreary this morning and cold.   NOT a typical September day on the beaches of NC!!   As I walked along the shoreline I felt the wind blowing sand in my face and mist in my eyes.   I saw debris littering the beach.   Broken  shells, sticks, seaweed, foam, even 2 large logs, one a small tree with the roots sticking out of the sand.   Also some trash and a large plastic storage container all torn apart.   I'm guessing alot of it was from hurricane Irene that came through a few weeks ago.   Looking out to sea was a constant churning of waves and whitecaps as far as you could see.

At first, as I walked along, I was enjoying the wind and waves.   The waves spoke of the power of God in a tangible way and reminded me, too, that in an instant He can calm the sea with simply a word!!   And the wind allowed me to walk along singing praise songs as loud as I wanted and no one but God heard me!   It was kinda fun to be singing so loud and yet God and I alone enjoyed the moment.   And a few chuckles as I would hit a wrong note or forget the next line and still find joy in knowing God was pleased with my attempts!

Then something changed.   I began to take my eyes and mind off of God and look around me.    I began to view the storm differently.   It was no longer something enjoyable.  It became something harsh and ugly, turning things around me into a mess and even dirty.   It was the thing that was going to spoil our first day on the beach.   No fun playing in dirty sand and having it fly in your face.   No fun jumping in the waves and swimming out to sand bars to throw balls.    No hanging out, soaking the sun and reading a book.    It was mean and nasty and unwelcome!

But again, I started praying and got my eyes back on our Creator.   And I had a different outlook of the storm again.    The storm was clearing unwanted garbage and debris out of the ocean.   The churning and wind was bringing things that didn't belong, in the water, to the shore to be cleared away and removed.   There was a purpose to the turmoil!   It was a cleansing!    And then as I looked out to sea, to the horizon there was a break in the clouds.   I could see blue skies far out and, just at the break, rays of light were shining down.   It was a visible end to the storm!   I could see that, by the afternoon, the sunshine would be here and the storm would calm.

Are you in a storm of life?  I am.  And when my focus is on Jesus, I can see the good of it, even in the midst of it.   I can understand that there is a cleansing that is needed.   Without the turmoil, the churning, the debris would just continue to float around my life.   Bumping into things, causing damage.   Lots of broken pieces taking up space, cluttering things, causing pain.   It is not always "fun" during the storm, and at the end, there is a time of cleaning up and removing what was washed into the shore.  But it's good to remove all that junk and be freed from it.

Unfortunately, when I take my eyes off Jesus, all I see is a mess!    All I care about is that my fun is being spoiled!    And the storm becomes an ugly, nasty thing that I just want to go away!!

But, take heart, if you focus on Jesus again and accept the clean-up and look to the horizon, there is Hope!   Jesus, shining down on you, enjoying a cleansed YOU and ready to use you for His Glory!   

Keep your eyes on Him, and find pleasure in knowing you are worth cleaning up!    Your storm WILL end and you WILL be able to bask in His Light and it WILL BE WORTH IT!

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