I went by the Atlantic Ocean yesterday. As I took a quiet walk by the seashore in that relatively lonely beach, the water was calm but extremely cold. The wind was blowing, the dark clouds of a cold front were rolling in, and there was a lonely bird standing on the sand.
I don't know how you feel about dark clouds, cool wind, unending wave sounds, cold water, and a lonely bird on a lonely beach, but it can make one sort of gloomy. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't turning to salty mush in that scene but stuff like that can suck the joy out of anyone. If nothing else, in moments like those the mind has a way of going the wrong way to places and memories that trigger sad emotions and feelings. It is then that you wonder about life, meaning, where you've been, and where you're heading.
Isn't it something how those mental trips we take usually end up with a memory of defeat in our past or a tough time we went through or a series of worries we have about what the future holds? We try to convince ourselves that we're an 'immovable rock' but when despair hits, it can squeeze out the best in us.
As I continued to walk I noticed the rising tide creeping up the sand and wondered how far would it reach. Then, a crazy thought: What if it didn't stop gaining ground and went over the sand dune, pass the hotels and onto the road and took over the homes near by? I know, I know... sounds like a ridiculous theme for a horror sci-fi movie.
But think about this, the only reason the tide doesn't keep going and sweeps over the dry land swallowing everything in its path is because God doesn't allow it.
The following Scripture is a question God posed to His man Job when Job was questioning God's treatment of his life,
“Who decreed the boundaries of the seas when they gushed from the depths? Who clothed them with clouds and thick darkness and barred them by limiting their shores, and said, ‘Thus far and no farther shall you come, and here shall your proud waves stop’?" Job 38:8-11 TLB
In other words, God restricted the waters. Had God not done that, the little island in the Caribbean Sea that I grew up in would have disappeared! And, had the Lord not continued managing that up to this day, all life as we know it would cease to exist. Aren't you glad God is Sovereign and merciful?
You may be wondering, Ok, soooo...where are you going with this, bro? Was there a purpose for your stroll at the beach? Yes, there was!
You may feel overwhelmed by your current situation and difficulty. But remember that God is watching and managing life. And just like the ocean tides, He will not let you or me be taken over anything that will wreck our lives for good. You may wonder sometimes about how much more of a difficult thing you can take or whether God has forgotten you and left you to be utterly devastated by an unstopping wave of awful, lousy stuff. But take courage, God is by the side of those who love Him to help them overcome!
Please allow me to unload a few encouraging Bible verses on you:
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18 NLT
"The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?" Psalm 27:1 NASB
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3 MSG
"Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10 TLB
“My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” 2Corinthians 12:9 CEV
Aren't those great comforting words? There's hope for life by the sea shore and in suburbia, not because there's anything special about those places, but because there's something special about God and the hope found in Him!
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