After a wonderful vacation in the tropics with great friends (all thanks to our other great friends who offered their time share to us! What?!), it’s good to be back home.
Right before we headed on this trip to Maui, we received some disappointing news.
I had allowed myself one good cry before we flew the friendly skies, but by the time we boarded, my tears were dry and I was ready for the type of relaxation that can only happen sea side.
Thing is, my soul wasn’t done grieving.
Even in the middle of Paradise, a soul can weep.
What was wrong with me? The company was perfect, the setting surreal. Still, I couldn’t shake the residual lump that was lodged at the back of my throat threatening to burst at any moment.
I decided to take a walk on the beach. I walked as far as I could along the shore. Barefoot, I let the warm waters lap up on me with each wave coming in.
When I got to the most secluded place I could find, I sat down. I sunk my toes into the soft sand and let the tears roll.
I told Jesus how sad I was. How unhappy the news we’d received had made me. I told Him that I was disappointed and that I just didn’t understand.
All He said was, “I know. But I’m right here.”
And then He held me there on that Hawaiian beach and spoke to me through the waves that were coming in and the tide that was going out.
Big waves and small ones were lapping up against me.
But the pull came when those waves headed back out to sea. When the sand shifted and the retreating water literally moved my body from its position.
A clear picture of the less obvious.
Life comes at us, doesn’t it? Waves of circumstance, big and small, crashing at our feet. Sometimes soaking us to the core.
Whether it’s disturbing world events or personal difficulties, it’s easy to feel like things are crumbling under our feet.
Everything around us can seem like it’s shifting and we can lose our balance, our sense of security. It can be disorienting. Fear sets in.
As I sat on the beach after another wave had come in, I realized that if I depended on the sand to keep me in place, I didn’t stand a chance.
Shifting sand shaped by the ebb and flow of the water around me could never keep me standing firm.
I let this analogy have its way with me and the tears poured as I realized that I had placed my soul in the ever-changing sand of circumstance. When those circumstances changed in a way I wasn’t expecting/desiring, my soul felt like it lost its footing.
And then I noticed something in the middle of all that sand.
(Okay, a piece of coral. :-))
I picked it up. It was solid in this vast amount of sand and waves.
Something to hang on to. Unlike the sand, it wouldn’t slip through my fingers.
And there it was.
The illustration that Jesus used all those centuries ago.
The foolish man and the wise man.
Matthew 7:24-27 tells the story.
One man set up house on a sand “foundation” and one man knew that the only safe place to build a home was on a solid footing.
We know how that played out.
When the waves came, the house built on sand was demolished. It didn’t stand a chance. It had a false foundation.
But when the waters rose against that house built on a rock, it didn’t go anywhere. It was safe and secure on a true foundation, regardless of the size of the waves that hit it.
After sitting with that familiar story playing out right before my eyes, I got up and headed back to where I’d started. I took the rock, solid in my hand, as a reminder:
The sand will always shift and the Rock never will.
If I house my soul on the shifting sand of changing circumstance, it will soon be homeless.
But if my soul finds its residence in Jesus, the Rock that will not move, I can enjoy a safe and permanent residence, regardless of what may come my way.
The news we received a week and a half ago is still disappointing.
But my soul, remembering that it’s home is built on the Rock and not on sand, is at peace. My footing is secure.
It’s good to be back home.
Psalm 41:5 – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 78:35 – And they remembered that God was their rock…
Psalm 71:3 – Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
Psalm 62:2 – He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.