Last Sunday I had the pleasure of going to our school's annual Beach Party. Now, I know the risks involved when going to the beach. Besides the obvious danger of being carried out to sea (the real danger), some risks include getting wet, getting cold, and getting so much sand on you that you have to sit on a towel in the car and hope that you don't spread it everywhere like a virus.
Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
So you can see why I don't always want to go to the beach--not because I don't love it, but because I dislike being so dirty, miserable, and freezing. (The coasts of the Northwest are nothing like what you normally associate with beaches--except for the sand and water part, of course. In other words--it's cold!!!)
But I am so, so glad I went to this year's Beach Party! Yes, I did get wet--drenched, really. Yes, I did get cold. And yes, I did get sand all over me. And yet I had a great time (aside from waiting in a super long line for dinner, but that's what happens when there's free food and lots of people).
In all seriousness, one of my favorite parts was getting into the water. I almost decided not to do "Ocean Rush"--the event where a bunch of students line up on the beach and then run into the icy cold waves all at the same time, in order to get a free T-shirt. ;) But the thing was, after getting back out of the water to get my T-shirt, I wanted to go back in. And that's when the fun began.
The waves were rather big, and I know you always have to be careful and watch for waves that will be strong enough to pull you out to sea. In this case, everything turned out fine. There was a group of us who played in the waves, feeling the awesome push and pull of the ocean.
I don't think I can describe in words (nor would I want to) all that was going on through my mind. But I will tell you this: I was in awe of the beautiful strength of the tide, amazed at what God had created. The water came at me, swirled around me, and rushed back out into the vast horizon. It was astounding to know that this part of creation was only a glimpse of the majesty of God and what He can do. Equally astounding was the reminder that God can see all. He knows all the places the ocean reaches, and yet He also stands with me and sees what I face: an unknown that is both exhilarating and frightening.
And to think that this is only temporary! I need to remember never to think of God as limited in any way. I can't even imagine what God has planned for eternity, and I'm glad. It is beyond exciting to know that I can trust Him and that I can be hopeful about His plan!
"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."
~ Isaiah 64:4