Tomorrow morning Nick and I get the opportunity to travel to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, for a little winter getaway with a dear friend from church! I feel guilty, because everyone I talk to wants to go too! I wish I could load up everyone I know and take them to enjoy the sand and sun and ocean waves with us!
It makes me wonder, “Why do we all long to go the beach?” It won’t be that warm this time of year, and yet everyone seems to want to be there as much as I do!
Is it the sand? I don’t think so……at least not for me. Even though, if I think of God talking to Abraham about his descendants outnumbering the grains of sand, I do feel a special connection to our Christian heritage when standing barefoot on an open beach!
Is it the palm trees? Well, I do love them! They represent something for me. They stand almost as if they are inviting me to something special, something I don’t want to miss! The invitation I long for is just beyond the palm trees and the sand…..
It’s the ocean! The ocean waves! The tide coming in and going out. Faithfully! Never missing a beat! Never growing tired or weary. The power of the ocean makes my hands tremble as I sit here tonight imagining a darkness filled with only the roaring sound of ocean waves. But oh, the beauty of the ocean! The endless horizon! It’s as if I can see eternity.
When our daughter died in 1992, friends urged us to go to the beach with them that following summer. A vacation was the last thing I wanted to do, but for the sake of our boys, I said, “yes.” I have to say that standing on the beach that summer was the most therapeutic time in my life! Realizing that the Creator of a faithful tide that never changed was also the Creator of my precious daughter. Accepting the fact that even though my life had changed drastically, God had not changed at all was critical for me. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The ocean is such a picture of God! As surely as the next wave would come up and brush across my feet, God promised to be there for me FOREVER to never forsake me. Just like the ocean’s depth and width are immeasurable, no one can measure God’s power, His love, His patience, His glory! Just as eternity has no end and sits as a longing in each of our hearts, the horizon beckons us to look and squint and wonder what’s out there where the sky attempts to reach down and meet the water.
Oh, I think God placed a longing for the beach in each of us just as He placed a longing for Him in each of us! When people hear that I am heading to the beach and they jokingly say, “Can I go with you?” I want to say, “Oh, I have an even better place I want you to go someday!”
Eternity in Heaven! Now there’s a real vacation!