Like I said, the ocean is vast.
However it’s not just vast in size. My family and I had the amazing opportunity to go scuba diving on our vacation. We spent about an hour 20 feet beneath the surface. We explored coral reefs and sand bars and saw a variety of marine life. No matter where we looked there was something new to explore and discover. After surfacing, we could not stop talking about our experience. We desire to become certified to explore the depths of the ocean in other parts of the world and explore the secrets held there. You could spend an entire lifetime exploring its depths, but there’s always more to see, more to experience. I could spend a lifetime simply exploring the shores around the Hawaiian Islands alone, but there is so, so much more ocean. The more time you spend down there, the more you desire to explore more.
Isn’t the Lord the same way?
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.”
Our human minds literally cannot fathom the full character of God. He is so vast and so huge than we cannot fully understand all of who He is. Let’s go back to the ocean for a second. Imagine a bucket- just a typical metal bucket. Now imagine scooping up a bucketful of water from the ocean. Though there is still so much water in the ocean, your bucket is now full. The bucket represents what you will learn about God in your lifetime. Though there is still so much to learn about Him, you have learned a lot. I think it’s easy to look at the size of God and get discouraged by the fact that we will not fully know Him on earth. But, as with scuba diving, the more you discover about His personality, His grace, His forgiveness, His mercy, His humor, His power, HIM, the more time you’ll want to spend with Him, the deeper you’ll want to dive.
The ocean is gentle.
As I stood at the edge of the water watching the sunset, the soft sound of waves tickled my eardrums. The tender touch of the water kissed my toes. There is something so peaceful about watching the waves as they gracefully beat against the shore.
These gentle waves remind me of the gentle love of a Father who loves us. In John 8:1-11, a woman is brought before Jesus having been caught in the act of adultery. As was custom, the Pharisees wanted to stone her. Jesus gave them odd permission. He told them that if any of them was free of sin (aka none of them), they could throw the first stone. The crowd dispersed, and Jesus had a tender moment with this woman.
I imagine the scene like this: the woman is lying on the ground before Him, terrified. Gently, He shows her that her accusers had gone, that they had taken back their accusations. He kneels down beside her and helps her sit up. She still will not look at Him. He gently lifts her chin, and she meets His gaze. Softly, He tells her that He does not condemn her either.
This scene shows the gentleness of the Lord. She was caught in the act of adultery. He could have chewed her out or let the people stone her as was custom of the time. But He chose differently. He chose to gently affirm her identity in the Father, that she is loved and cared for.
So just as the waves softly brush against us, so too does the Lord whisper, “you are mine.”
The ocean is mighty.
We were on the beach one day, and the surf was huge. We are talking waves more than six feet tall. At an inopportune time, I was standing in the wrong place with my back to the waves. I got wrecked. Luckily, my mom happened to get pictures of it.
Especially in the middle of a storm, the ocean is mighty and ferocious. A single wave can smash into a waiting rock and send water on a skyward pilgrimage. They can knock the feet out from under you, tumble you around, then right you again in a new place.
I think Christians like to brush over God’s wrath- it’s not a very fun topic to talk about. But it’s part of who He is, just as it is part of the ocean. In Genesis 19, we read about the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, cities that were full of sin and darkness. Unwilling to repent, the Lord sent sulfur and fire and destroyed the cities. That’s not fun to talk about. We deserve the wrath of God. We deserve sulfur and fire. But Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross. He bore the weight of the wrath of God so that we are covered. If you feel the weight of that on your heart right now, take a minute to thank Him. What an incredible Savior.
The ocean is moving.
As I sat on the plane and stared at the expanse of water below me, it seemed oddly still. From that distance, you can’t see the life within, the churning of the waves, the work it’s doing. Isn’t the Lord the same in seasons of dryness and feeling far away? Just as the ocean seems still from a far distance, so too does the Lord. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t moving.
How cool is it that we are able to see the Creator so evidently in His creation? We are able to look at the ocean and praise Him for it. We are able to look at the sunrise and mountains and stars and canyons and see His incredible beauty. We look at the world around us and see that His creation is good.
I want to leave you with this. You are part of His creation. Just as He created freaking MOUNTAINS, He created YOU.
“I was created by God, who formed me because He so much loved the very thought of me. When I was nothing, He saw something and declared it good. Very good. And very loved.” -Lysa TerKeurst
Live loved my friends.