Earlier in June, God blessed us with the resources and time to have a mini beach vacay to Gulf Shores. We were there for 4 days/3 nights, enjoying that lovely, sandy, white shore.
One morning, I woke up earlier than everyone else, and found myself lying in the dark, playing Candy Crush on my iPad, trying not to wake Scott. Then it hit me. What the heck am I doing in here – in a dark bedroom playing a stupid game, when the glory of God is right outside our window, with an empty chair calling my name?! So I quietly got up, grabbed my Bible and prayer journal, and hit the balcony.
As I sat there, I leaned my head back against the chair and breathed in that salty air. I stared out at the horizon, where sea and sky kiss. And I listened to the glorious, relaxing sound of the waves crashing onto the shore… over and over and over again… without fail… never ceasing.
I read my devotion for the day, and then opened my prayer journal. The rest of this blog post is my prayer journal entry from that day.
Sitting on this balcony today, so grateful for the life You’ve given me. As You are well aware, we were able to take a mini beach vacation this week. We took a mini mountain vacation last month. I’m so grateful that we had the time and resources to take these trips and make memories for our family.
I’m listening to these waves, constantly rolling in, never, ever stopping, and it’s so calming and peaceful. Reminds me of Your presence and Your ‘never leaving us’ and Your constant love and grace that never ceases. Just like my devotion scripture for today, which I know You timed perfectly just for this moment. It says:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
But what if I lived here? What if my home was a beach house and the sound of the sea became just a normal, everyday sound that eventually became lost and muddled in the mundane noises of the day? I would begin to not even notice it – to take it for granted – go through my day without even stopping and being in awe of that beautiful sound.
So on this balcony, feeling such a heightened sense of gratitude for this experience, I think of my own back deck to my house in Mount Olive, AL. Am I grateful for that place, like I am for these special vacations and locations? Or do I just go through my everyday life, oblivious to the glory that is there too? Do I just go through my house, not even recognizing the beauty and protection that it provides? Do I stop and listen for the beautiful sounds of crickets and frogs in the woods behind my house, the hum of the dryer, and the whir of my dishwasher? They might be different sounds, and some might be more pleasing to the ear than others (like waves crashing on the shore), but they all resoundingly proclaim the constant provision and presence of our God. Indeed, great is Your faithfulness.
Lord, help me not just be aware of You in the special moments, like vacations and worship services, but also in the everyday mundane moments. Let me never take You for granted, so much so that I don’t even recognize the glory all around me. Whether I’m in Gulf Shores, Mount Olive, or wherever else our family is called to, let me always have eyes to see your beauty and ears to hear Your voice.
The sad thing is, I almost missed this moment of God speaking to me. And as I was typing this blog post up, giving you the backstory of how I was lying in the dark, playing a game, trying not to wake Scott, it just reiterated the point I was making in the blog. We miss out on God because of any of those 3 things I was doing:
1 – Lying in the dark. We are just lazy sometimes… well, at least I am. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. We don’t put forth the effort to get up and put ourselves in the best position/place/posture to hear from the Lord. Sure, He could have spoken to me while lying in the bed, which He has done on multiple occasions. But I know this: when I purposefully make time and take action to have time alone with Him – reading His word, writing in my prayer journal, and listening to Him – He shows me more of who He is, and more of who I am. So rise and shine, friends! Get up and let God speak to you.
2 – Playing a game. Distractions easily keep our eyes and minds busy with temporal things that truly do not matter (like TV shows, game apps, social media), rather than what is eternal, like spending time in His presence and serving Him. We miss out on His glorious cinema that is constantly playing all around us, because of the TV, phone, and computer screens we are glued to. I go much more in depth on this topic in my last blog post, Tuesdays with Sarah… You Gotta Keep Your Head Up.
3 – Trying not to wake someone. Sometimes I feel like we miss God because we are so fearful of what other people will think, or how it might affect our lives. So we lay really still, trying not to bother anyone, content to just get by without ever letting yourself get close to the Lord. Because what if I start hearing from God and He asks me to do something outrageous, like raise my hands during worship?!? What will people think? Or He may urge you to take a trip down to the altar? People might think I have some big sin in my life, and we want everyone to think we are perfect. So we just lie there. Still. Trying not to draw any attention to ourselves. Not wanting to rock the boat… or I should say bed. And sometimes it’s not fear of others opinions, its fear for ourselves. Fear that God might ask something of us that we just can’t do, just can’t give, just can’t… can’t. So we continue to lie there, trying to stay under the radar. If there’s not much activity on my end, then maybe God won’t notice me and ask me to do something uncomfortable. And by lying there, we miss the balcony view of the sea and sky and the sound of His waves of grace and mercy.
Like the old praise chorus goes, “Waves of mercy, waves of grace, everywhere I look, I see Your face.” So get up out of that bed, go sit on that balcony, and seek His face. Breathe Him in, and let the waves of His mercy and grace soothe your soul and remind You of His never-ending love for you.
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