My day on the seaside that wasn't like that – Crosswalk the Devotional
My day on the beach wasn't like that
by Shawn McEvoy
Because the waves of death surrounded me, the currents of destruction attacked me … (2 Samuel 22: 5).
Your anger is heavy on me and you overwhelm me with all your waves (Psalm 88: 7).
I have often stood on the shores of a peaceful Atlantic Ocean, looking east at sunrise, thinking about the vastness and depth of God. This was not one of those times.
Today I wanted to catch some fish. It was my only two hours alone during the whole week of family vacation on the Isle of Palms. I decided to drive to the point where I had run earlier in the morning. This was mistake number one. I banged the chain on this old bike about halfway up the beach and finally had to push it the rest of the way with one hand while holding my fishing rod with the other (trying not to hook myself).
When I finally got there, the waves had risen to a level I had never seen on Atlantic beaches in any of my last four seasons. I could barely throw my bait over them and if I succeeded I would soon be knocked over. All right then. You know what? I wanted a showdown. "Let's see what Whisha has," I said either to myself, to God or to the forces of nature. I brought my pole back to the shore and waded to war.
I took my best linebacker stance and stood the six foot waves as best I could. I tried body surfing and swallowed almost a gallon or two of sea water. I tried to jump, dive and shoulder through. And while I was doing all of that, I said to God or whoever was listening how hard it was. ("Sure," you say, "a week of luxury family beach vacation; you're really having trouble." But it's true).
Why am I gaining weight so easily? Why don't you seem to hear me anymore? Why am I not satisfied in my soul? Why do my simplest wishes – like cycling along the beach and catching a fish – lead to such discouraging and strong setbacks? Why is my faith hurt and how do I start taking care of God's people again? Huh ?!
Nothing. Wave after wave after pounding after pounding.
The good news is that I have exhausted myself, got this out of my system and "prayed". That I got a feeling for myself again in this rough place called The World and how puny I am in relation to the created universe.
The bad news is that I became more and more depressed. When I finally gave up and God said that I recognize his size and smallness, I was sitting in the surf trying to really connect, to really give everything to make it a milestone, otherwise everything else was of my life.
But it was just words. Nothing seemed to rise. I couldn't let my heart climb into my prayers. And I couldn't figure out how or when I lost it or what to do about it.
I went ashore defeated and defeated. What progress had I made? In the best case was a humiliation today, in the worst case a humiliation. My head dropped and I looked down.
What I saw further discouraged me. The flat foam that washed out ran for several meters at the same pace as my footsteps coming back in. The optical illusion was to get nowhere. Moving, but staying in the same place.
Then finally: "You know that you are making progress. You know what it looks like with every step you come closer to the coast. Also today was progress. Tomorrow will be a step. As well." the next. My grace is a wave that is infinitely more powerful and purifying than this, and my footprints are not washed away. "
I sighed but I smiled. "Step by step you lead me and I will follow you all my days …" Step by step I came home exactly on that day, beaten, extremely scrubbed, without shoes, by bike and with a pole. And I am happy to report that I come home in the same way in my mind.
Check out Crosswalk.com's fantastic belief, family, and fun resources!