One joyous benefit of moving half-way cross country is all the new experiences just waiting to be tried. In the winding road that is my life, I’ve learned I enjoy pushing the envelope, exploring new things, meeting new people and creating bold adventures. Even as I sit in front of this computer, I’m giddy about filling a blank screen with something creative.
So what better California experience could there be than driving to the ocean on a sunny 80 degree day? My husband, Richard, and I packed up our dog, Lily, and headed off to Laguna Beach. The day would be Lily’s first beach experience.
Normally Lily doesn’t shy away from the water. Back home she’d jump into every puddle and just yesterday leapt and danced in the spray of the sprinkler system. Yet as we slowly waded into the surf it was quickly apparent Lily didn’t understand the waves. She was very content to splash in the water, but as the small surf gently banged against her, fear and trepidation overcame the wonderment we thought she would have. Despite all my soothing words, Lily didn’t want any part of the ocean as long as it included waves.
And I wondered how many of us lose out on a great experience simply because we dismiss the soothing words of our God? When we land square at the feet of Jesus, His waves of love pick us back up each and every time we’ve fallen. We thrive under His guidance, yet many of us, myself included, run back to counterfeit forms of peace.
One reason I go to the ocean is to drink in the awesomeness, the hugeness, the strength of my God, who created it. Yet despite the sea’s reminder, every hour of every day, I must do the difficult work of directing my mind, my heart and my soul back to the Ultimate Security.
There are days, I freely admit, when I’m impatient, my voice has a biting tone or my bed seems to provide more comfort than my God. Sometimes I fret about the clouds overhead and forget to dance in the puddles of the sea. Psalm 100:1 says, “On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.” When the world carries too much stress, try the verse’s helpful suggestions:
Stand – It’s okay to be afraid – to stand on fearful feet. You must first stand in order to walk, then run.
Applaud God – Give God a standing ovation in both the extraordinary and the mundane. Gratitude will brighten any circumstance.
Bring laughter – Laughter is indeed the best medicine…one of the most potent stress-busters around. When tension circles, just smile and laugh. It will lighten any moment.
Sing – It doesn’t matter what your voice is like, bring happy, worship-filled songs into your life. Make your car, your shower, your home into God’s cathedral.
No matter how much life changes, God is always there urging you to lean on His strength – to let Him provide your security. So get on your feet and learn to nourish your soul by dancing in the tide of God’s unconditional love.