Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday by the Sea

"Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?" ~ Jeremiah 5:22

It can be hard to trust. The verse above fits so well with what I have read so far in MaryLu Tyndall's book Surrender the Heart that I wanted to share it with you. Marianne Denton, the main character of the book, is afraid of the sea. Her father died in the sea, and she is fearful that it might take her, too.

In the very first chapter of the book, Marianne looks out the window of her home as she finishes preparing for her engagement party. This is Marianne's observation:

"A bell rang in the distance, drawing Marianne's attention to the maze of ship masts that thrust into the sky like iron bars of a prison. A prison that could not constrain the ravenous indigo waters from feeding upon the innocent--an innocent like her father."

What a contrast to the verse from Jeremiah! Marianne struggles with trusting in God, and she imagines that the sea cannot be controlled. And yet God tells us in the verses above that the sea cannot cross the boundaries He has made for it. He is in control of the sea and all of Creation.

No matter how frightening the sea or any of the situations in our lives appear to be--tossing and roaring--God is sovereign and He is in control of it all. We have nothing to fear because God is eternal and He is omnipotent. We can trust in Him.

I'm not quite halfway through Surrender the Heart, but already I can see the growth in Marianne's character. And I am certain that she will continue to grow in her faith as the book progresses, through all of the hardships she must face. In her story I am reminded of my need to trust God in all things, because He is indeed in control of all things.

I think a wonderful conclusion to these thoughts is a verse that was on my calendar for today. It reads:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you." ~ Isaiah 43:2

Marianne finds herself on different ships out on the sea. Perhaps some of us feel that we are also out upon the sea of our worst fears. But we must remember that not only can we trust God's sovereignty, but we can also trust that He will be right there beside us through it all.

(The picture above is of my sister and I several years or so ago, looking out at the bay in our home county.)

8 comments:

Casey said...

Amen, Amber! I love that one verse about passing through the waters. God is there, we have nothing to fear, what can man do to me?

Amber S. said...

Casey,

I love that verse, too! :) It is so amazing to know that God is right here with us, staying by our side through good times and bad.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

~Amber

Amanda said...

Oh, Amber! What a BEAUTIFUL post, my friend!! That verse is one of my favorites, and always comes to mind whenever I see the ocean! Also love that you used the KJV- makes scripture sound so much more poetic, especially that particular verse ;)

Even in school, you find the time to write these amazing, uplifting, encouraging posts! A testament to your wonderful writing ability and your relationship with Christ :) Thank you for blessing us!!

And, SO happy you got and are reading Surrender the Heart!!! There is such a wealth of spiritual growth packed into those pages that often brought me to tears. I really identified with Marianne's struggle with fear and insecurity. MaryLu wrote it all so well, especially the transformations both spiritually and in the relationship between Marianne and Noah. Chapter 20 is HEART MELTING!!! Can't wait to read your review on it :D

Praying school is going well, my friend, and that you have a great Labor Day!! Off to go catch up on your others posts...

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Kate said...

Hi Amber, I am a prospective student for Corban University and I happen to stumble across your blog. How do you like it there?

Thanks,
Kate

Julia M. Reffner said...

Amber,

I loved your thoughts here!! I love that verse in Isaiah. Its one I do meditate on when I'm struggling with fear. Also love the verse before it:

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. -Is 43:1

Makes me think what can we fear. He has paid for ALL. We are so dear, intimate, and personal to Him...and WE are HIS. All great reasons to fear not.

Thanks so much, Amber. You have blessed my Monday!

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

You are so kind, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post! It is a wonderful verse, isn't it? And I do like the KJV, too!

Thank you for your sweet, encouraging words! :) I love blogging and reading, so those are what I enjoy doing often during my free time. I'd like to think that writing is my passion. :) I hope God uses me in whatever way He desires, though, and that He'll guide me and strengthen me to surrender to my destiny, like the theme in Surrender the Heart!

I couldn't agree more with your words about the book, and I'm so glad MaryLu sent me a copy! She is such a wonderful, generous person!!! :D And I was so excited after you said that about chapter 20--I couldn't wait to read it! I actually ended up finishing the book in the wee hours of the morning last night, and again I completely agree...chapter 20 is amazing! :D

Thank you again for your prayers and support! Hope you have a great week!

~Amber

P.S. I don't know if you already saw this in my other post, but I watched and ADORED North & South! LOVED it!!! :D

Amber S. said...

Kate,

That's wonderful! And how neat that you were able to stumble upon my blog. :)

I have to say that I love Corban. The teachers are great, the classes are generally interesting and challenging, the campus is lovely, and the overall atmosphere is wonderful! The dorms are quite comfortable. (I recommend Balyo, myself, especially with how nice it looks, but some girls prefer Aagard because of the private bathrooms.) I love the community, and the gym and other facilities are really nice.

Overall, I think Corban is a great choice! Depending on where you're coming from, it does seem to rain a lot here, especially in the winter, but as I said before, the campus is beautiful (and you get your exercise walking up and down the hills!). I think this is also a great place to be encouraged in your faith, to learn more about God, and to seek His will for your life.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and it was nice to meet you! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Julia,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! :D And I'm glad you shared the verse before it, too. Those are both great verses and great reminders that God is in control and He loves us. Indeed, as believers what have we to fear? God is so good!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and for leaving such a sweet comment! :)

~Amber