It was time, it had to be done, and it is sort of a tradition. One final beach trip before puppies arrive. Life has been tumultuous, and just when I think I am getting order back in my life, life crashes in like a sneaker wave and sweeps it away. I had begun to have a bad attitude that I couldn’t suppress. My peace and joy seemed just beyond my finger tips, and that wasn’t right. So it was time, pre-puppy trip to the ocean. With the biggest plan being stop at Dutch Brothers on the way there, and once on the way back, I packed my journal, my sweatshirt, Tamar’s tennis ball and a bowl for her water. Some prayer and devotional time, and we were off!
We drove through the mountains, through the turns that take me to Highway 101, as far west as I can drive. Heading North we stopped at a favorite local beach, busy with families enjoying the coastal beauty even in the gray cover of fog. The fog covered the coast line, still the sound and smell of the ocean calmed me as Tamar walked by my side bounding off only to chase the ball I occasionally threw for her.
I needed that calm, chaos and uncertainty have left me feeling edgy and unable to process clearly. My prayers have been, “I know you are there God, but I don’t know where I am in all of what is happening!” My head has just been spinning, from work to home to work and back home. As I walked in the soothing sounds and smell the chaos melted away for a moment, and for the first time in months I felt able to think about what I wanted to do in the next moment. We drove to get lunch as the fog lifted and the sun warmed the air around us before heading to the beach I knew I wanted to walk on.
When we finally arrived at my beach the fog was completely gone, the crashing waves welcomed us to one of my favorite stretches of beach. I walked, stopping to pick up stones that tickled my eyes while throwing Tamar’s tennis ball for her. Now and again the waves would be stronger than I had anticipated and we would have to hurry out of the way as I looked for a place to sit. Even with the walking and dodging waves, the crash of the surf calmed my spirit and I finally found a spot to stop.
I sat for a long time, watching the surf, waves lifting up out of the dark blue sea and becoming crests of sea green, white foam cascading over. I watched as smaller waves gave way to larger crests that would crash closer to where I sat. I breathed in the salt air and poured my heart out to Abba. I looked at the vastness of the ocean in front of me, I watched the surf crashing with power around logs it had brought to shore and then I understood. My God ordered that, He knows where they will land and when. He commands the tide when it comes in and when it goes out. He created it to be powerful, but HE CONTROLS IT.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
He is completely aware of my life’s circumstances, and I need to trust Him in it. The ebb and flow of life is like that surf that sometimes gently came up on the sand and in other moments came crashing and rushing up to my feet. I had no fear of getting wet on the beach, I was focused on God, I trusted that He was in control and I was at peace.