Monday, January 9, 2012

The Faces of the Ocean

I love the varied faces of the ocean. Depending on the time of year, time of day, high, low, or ebb tide, or the force of the wind or rain. All these can make the ocean seem like a moody woman. (Don't be offended by that, ladies. I have met moody men, too, but if we're honest, we know that we are queens of the moods!)

After the incredible wedding of our youngest daughter and the bustle of Christmas, my husband and I decided a winter beach retreat was in order. To refresh us and prepare us for the energy needed for our college ministry starting back mid-January. So off we went! It's a great time to get oceanfront hotel rooms. The cheapest of the year. And the view will not disappoint.

There is something about ocean air when it is cooler. There is a clarity and freshness to the whole scenario that you simply will not find during the humid summer months. Though I realize that I stand in a minority with these assumptions. Try it is my advice to any doubters.

And for the first time ever, during this medicinal beach retreat, I saw the ocean lay down. The first couple of days were high 60's and we enjoyed walking in the sand. But the third day, an eastern wind blew strong and determined. Bringing a 25 degree temperature drop.

But it was the ocean that amazed me in the early morning hours when the front was making its debut. Calm. Reined in. Retreating. Almost could not believe my eyes.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. Exodus 14:21

When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure. Job 28:25

He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:3

For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. Psalm 107:25

He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Psalm 135:7

Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! Proverbs 30:4

So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. Isaiah 59:19

For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name! Amos 4:13

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

True, the wind is a powerful force. These verses mean so much more to me after seeing what it could do to the formidable ocean. But, it is also true that living in fear, having doubts, not taking God at His Word...all this can lay us down - render us useless. 

God created the winds, the waves, the storms, the sun, all the elements that move and drive us every day. He also created us and will enable us in what He has called us to do!