Here is a post I wrote a few years ago, before my sister and her husband were married and we took a family vacation to the beach.
The night air was cool against my face as I escaped the hotel. Each step took me further away from the loud laughter and the yellow glow of outdoor tiki bar below the hotel. I shoved my hands into the pockets of my coat and widened my stride trying to catch up to my sister and her boyfriend . They insisted I come with them and scour the shore for shells. Back inside my room I had a book that clawed for my attention, but I was a good sport and went along. Besides, I love the ocean.
We headed south away from the city lights and into the deep velvet darkness. With flashlights in hand, we began to wave the light beams back and forth across the tide like tiny lighthouses. Every couple of yards rebellious shells cut the bottoms of my feet as if protesting our retrieval of them. Thousands of starfish were sprawled out across the sand. I desperately tried to save them by throwing them back into the ocean like some sort of Ninja-Mermaid. But after about fifteen, I gave up.
We made our way to the end of the island, where a large rocky outcropping stuck out into the ocean. The tide had washed in various urchins and starfish deep inside the rocky chambers. We were like explorers, discovering all sorts of hidden treasures of abalone and beautiful shells. We oohed and aah-ed pulling up amazing things. With each rocky crevice brought something new, it was wonderful.
I climbed over the large slippery rocks and landed on the other side. It was an empty beach, nothing but sand. It was like a sacred ground. I stood silently listening as the steady pulse of distant waves crashed and hissed forward to the shore.
I sighed and closed my eyes, allowing the salt air to run its fingers through my hair. My eyes snapped open when I felt the cold water rushing around my ankles, reminding me of how close I was standing to the edge of the shore. I gazed upward and saw a sliver of moon glinting off the waves. Small stars laid in the navy velvet sky, twinkling every so often. I looked to the horizon and realized that there was no horizon. No land. Nothing for miles.
I felt small being surrounded by something so beautiful and gigantic.
The oceans make up for seventy percent of the Earth. Seventy percent! The Mariana Trench is 10.91 kilometers, which is 6.78 mi or 35,800 ft, making it the deepest part of the ocean in the world. To add to that, there are so many things we have yet to discover about the ocean and it’s inhabitants.
Just think about the creatures for a second … from Blue Whales, dolphins, jellyfish, penguins, seahorses, sharks, squid, octopus and those are just ones we see in aquariums. Think about the strange, ghost-like creatures that live in the deeper parts of the ocean.
It blows my mind to think that we haven’t even begun to figure everything out about the ocean. Don’t even get me started on space and galaxies. Mind boggling!
But get this …
The love of the Father is so much greater than that.
Sort of like the old hymn, “Here Is Love”
“ Here is love, vast as the ocean…
No love is higher, no love is wider
No love is deeper, no love is truer”
… that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends
I stood there for several minutes, gazing from the dark horizon to the ethereal moon above, feeling tiny. But not the typical feeling of insignificance, but more like feeling small in the presence of a huge, beautiful Creator God whose love for me is so much more than my mind can even touch the fringes of. I smiled as the waves licked my toes and whispered to Him, “Thank you.”
“Come on!” I heard my sister shout over towards the rocks. I gazed up one more time at the moon, and ran back smiling like a little girl because of the love of My Father.
What is something in nature reminds you of the characteristics of God?