Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion January 30, 2019

We went to the beach a few weeks ago.  It was January and the weather was rather chilly, but it was still the beach so that is all that matters.  It truly isn’t significant as to what the temperature, the beach is still the beach and and the ocean is still the ocean and regardless of anything else the the waves always come to the shore and break and the water rolls back out again.  Continually. Regardless of any other factors.  There is a consistency there that I believe is part of the attraction of being at the beach.  
Of course the level of the waves or whether they are smooth or rough does change.  The tide is higher or lower depending on the time of day.  If it is stormy the waves are higher and crash more roughly onto the sand; when it is calm the waves kind of gently flow to the beach and flow back out to sea again….
But always the waves, coming in and going out and the sound of that and the visual of that make such a soothing regularity which produces the feeling of calm.  Maybe that is why I like the beach so much, because there is just this calm that is created when back in your real life all is swirling and chaotic….
And while I am feeling that calm, relaxing feeling I love to people watch at the beach. I have always had such a moral dilemma with that.  Is it really fair to all those people I have watching to have someone watching them when they don’t even realize it?  Am I in some way invading their life by sitting on my balcony and just watching as they run down the beach, or play with the ball or walk their children?  Is it a problem to smile when I hear the laughter and the squeals as people get into the water - and in January it is mostly squeals because I think people think ‘beach’ and think ‘warm’ even when it is January until they commit to running into the breaking waves and realize that warm and January are not necessarily synonymous! 
Watching the people as they wander down the beach, or ride their bicycles on the board walk; as they throw footballs or kick their soccer ball or fly their kites; as they walk arm in arm or hand in hand or just beside one another lost in conversation; or walk while talking on their cell phones or looking at their cell phones; as they walk their dogs on a leash or trust their dogs leashless to walk beside them.  
It just seems that everything about the beach is peaceful - the constant waves, the relaxed people meandering along the edge of the water, or through the softer sand or up on the boardwalk, the laughter and even the shorebirds gliding on the air currents who don’t seem to even have to put much effort into their flight.
That feeling of peace; of being relaxed; of contentment; of calm is the same feeling our God keeps reminding us is possible if we just let ourselves fall into his arms.  Especially as we read the Psalms there is that prevailing concept of the consistency and the assurance of God’s presence in our lives.  
Just like we leave the chaos of the world behind when we travel to the beach, we can leave the uncertainty of our lives behind when we allow ourselves to fall into the arms of a God  who wants nothing more for us than the constant calm of his believing in his care.
Its hard sometimes because our problems seem so pervasive, but there is no better promise than the one we are constantly reminded of through the knowledge of the one who created us.  The one who wants so badly to be our one true God; who offers us peace no matter what else seems to be happening.
Just lean on him; allow God to hold you; believe in the promise of a God who will hold you and fill you with his relaxing presence.