“There is it!” shouted my five-year-old son. “The Atlantic Ocean! Hurry!” He and his little brother sprinted towards the sand. I ran to keep up with them.
We stopped at the edge of the waves and watched in awe as one by one they crashed and then sank back into the sea. “Pretty incredible, huh?” I asked them.
We were finally at the beach. The moment my little boys had been waiting for all summer had arrived. We stood there together, staring at one of God’s most amazing and powerful creations.
“The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”
We played in the sand and splashed as the cool water rolled back and forth over our feet and legs. It was a windy day and the waves were strong and rough, displaying their power with each crash onto the beach.
After a while my husband looked down at our oldest son and asked him, “Do you want to go out into the water with me?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Yes!” His father scooped him up and wrapped his arms securely around our boy’s little body. In response, our son tightly circled his arms to hold his daddy’s neck and wrapped his legs around his waist.
Off they walked, my husband holding our first born, each step taking them deeper into the ocean waves. My heart beat a little faster as I watched from shore. My own hand securely encircled the hand of our three-year-old while he splashed at the edge of the water.
Despite my nervousness, I was certain that my husband would never let our little boy out of his tight grip. He would do anything to keep him safe in the midst of the mighty waters that surrounded them.
As I watched them, my thoughts began to shift to a parallel picture of our Heavenly Father, and an image of His arms tightly and securely wrapped around His children.
I began to imagine God carrying me, my children, my family, there in the middle of the ocean. I envisioned Him holding you and your families through the craziness of this year.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
No matter what “waves” are raging in our lives, His grip is secure. When circumstances seem to toss us about, His grasp remains unbroken. No matter how powerless we feel against the vast ocean of life’s trials and struggles, if we are held by our Father, we remain perfectly safe. He cannot be moved or swayed. He is more powerful than even the roaring sea.
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.”
I breathed a sigh of relief as my husband and son made their way in from the water, back to the sandy shore. They were both smiling from ear to ear.
“Did you have fun?” I asked my son.
“Yes! It was so cool in the waves.” He answered.
“Were you scared?” I prodded.
“No. Daddy was holding me.”
He said it so matter of factly, as if it were silly that I would even ask such a question. My son had complete faith in his father’s strength and ability to protect him. His answer reminded me that we should feel that safe, and much more so, in the arms of God our Father.
My husband is not more powerful than the ocean waters. He is just a man. It is possible that the strength of the waves could overtake him. But our Father God who holds us is more powerful than the mighty ocean. Nothing can overpower Him, or remove His children from His hand. He can calm the wind and the waves if He so chooses, or He can hold us safety in the midst of them.
“O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.”
I lingered there next to my family at the edge of the ocean and looked out as far as I could see. My eyes beheld the endless stretch of water. There is a greatness and majesty that can only be found at sea. The force of just one wave, much less the entire expanse, takes my breath away. It always serves to reminds me just how small and powerless I really am.
I sifted a handful of sand through my fingers and thought about how many tiny grains it takes to fill up the shore, or how many drops of water to fill the sea…unfathomable numbers! I heard the pounding of the waves and saw the foam racing towards me and thought how easily the water could pull my feet out from under me. I stood humbled by the sheer power of the ocean. I wondered at the beauty on the glittering surface and the mysteries held deep beneath. All of my senses took in the scene with awe.
As I remember that day, what makes me even more impressed than all of the glory of creation, is the truth that God Himself is so much more powerful and more glorious than all of it put together. The most fearsome waters and strongest winds obey His command. The mightiest waves that thunder and roar, are no match for His strength.
“The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty.”
“The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” He asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.””
Where is my faith? Where is your faith? It is placed in our own strength? Or is it secure in the hands of Jesus Christ and the Father who sent Him? Am I held by the one who can calm the sea with His very word? Are you?
It really comes down to a matter of trust. Do I trust God completely, the way my son fully trusted his daddy to hold him in the waves? Am I relying on His ability to keep me safe in both calm waters and in the storms of life? Can I be the middle of any circumstance and rest in the knowledge that I am completely secure? Do I have so much confidence in my Father’s care that I can I say just like my little boy… “Daddy was holding me”?
The God who formed the majestic sea loves us with the everlasting love of a Father holding his child. He carries you and me through the waters, and He is mightier than the waves!