Archive for December, 2011

Get into the Boat!

My husband and I enjoy spending time at the ocean. It has become sort of home-away-from-home for us.  We love to stay at the same place, which has a panoramic unobstructed ocean view.  It feels like our home-away-from-home not just because of the familiar accommodations, but because of the unchangeable predictably of the lovely seascape. It is the same view every time, yet there is always something new that has made it’s way onto the beach, and I never tire of seeing the beautiful scenery. Such serenity at the beach.

Recently when staying at this favorite ocean resort, I got up early one morning to enjoy some quiet time. The weather was stormy, so I turned on the gas fireplace, made coffee, and settled onto the couch in front of the ceiling-to-floor window to watch the ocean waves crash onto the beach and roll back in rhythmic concession. I looked in awe at the beauty before me and began to think about the similarities between God and the ocean. I took out my journal and began to write the the attributes of both…

The ocean is steady, powerful, relentless, and all consuming – so is God.  The ocean is the cloth of time pounding the beach. Likewise, so is God; timeless, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega. The ocean and God are consistent, yet within their consistency there is an ever-changing landscape. Walking the beach on a particular day you will find driftwood, plants and crustaceans. Yet overnight, the next walk you take will yield the same or similar species but different sizes and placement. God is very much like that. Our lives, situations, and the world around us change from day to day. Who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow as God works in and through my life – but, I am still Janie. God and the ocean are constant in their change but reliable in their consistency.

Gazing out the window I imagined the creatures that live in or near the ocean. Life is sustained through the ocean for a host of plants and animals who find a harbor within its breadth. The ocean is their source for food, energy, and a home. God too is our source for life and a harbor for sustaining his people. God is the giver and provider of all things just as the ocean is to its inhabitants. And God, like the ocean, is no respecter of persons in that he has created this beautiful world for all to live in, and blessed us with life and love, and he provides means for shelter and food. (I am very fond of a saying that says, “God provides every bird his food, but he doesn’t throw it into the nest!”) God and the ocean both provide the means for sustaining life and are not impartial.

My thoughts then turned to God and his tranquil beauty. He is a God of peace and as one song suggests “an awesome God, he reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love.” But there is also the righteous judgment side of God and as the same song continues, “there’s thunder in his footsteps and lightning in his fists.”

The ocean too is a tranquil place of beauty where both calm seas and raging waters abide. We can swim in the ocean and be consumed with its beauty. However, we are not infallible so without a life supporting vessel we cant stay afloat forever. We need a boat to keep us buoyant. And, once we “get into the boat” we are safe to further enjoy the tossing and rolling of the tide. It can get rough on the sea, but within the confines of the boat, even though the sea whirls around us, we are safe-saved from harm and potential of sinking.

Consequently,to stay afloat in this world we need a life sustaining vessel to keep us safe. We do not have the ability to stay afloat on our own. We make mistakes, trials come our way, and the world rages around us. All our flailing around and dogpaddling wont be effective forever. We become tired and incapable of saving ourselves. Oh we may try to fool ourselves or others into thinking we are OK, but deep down we have a need to be loved and protected, to be scooped up from our sinking state of mind; to be saved, at peace and settled. We need to be rescued and God has provided the “lifeboat” – Jesus Christ. Through accepting Jesus Christ, who died to rescue us from the strife of the world, God makes a way for us to be saved. 

Do you see the likeness of God and the ocean?  Have you experienced exhaustion trying to stay afloat apart from God?  He welcomes everyone to enjoy his beauty and provision by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior so we can bask in Gods sustaining sea of life for all eternity. With Jesus as our lifeboat we can live in the ocean of God’s goodness, love and protection.

Is it time for you to “get into the boat?”

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