I LOVE living near the ocean. Whenever the weather is permissible, my family and I LOVE going to beach. It just amazes me how many people live in our area and yet never take advantage of its beauty and availability. Something about staring out into the glorious expanse of the ocean, reminds me of our powerful Savior and his great LOVE for us. In my mind, the ocean paints a vivid portrait of our God who seeks to satisfy our deepest longings and provide for us as our living water.
As the ocean is deep and wide, so is the LOVE of our father towards us in that while we were yet sinners, he died for us (Romans 5:8). Trying to fathom that kind of selfless LOVE makes me so grateful and makes me want to strive to LOVE with Christ’s kind of LOVE which is so unlike our human nature. It’s a crazy kind of love. We want an eye for an eye, but God tells us to turn the other cheek. God wants us to give not expecting anything in return. He wants us to LOVE the unlovely and we can only do these things through the power of his Holy Spirit living in us. God gives us the ability to see with his eyes, and his eyes are the eyes of LOVE.
On some days the ocean is in an uproar. The waves are pounding hard, crashing against the shoreline. To watch its power and it’s strength is truly mesmerizing. This reminds me of our Almighty God. He is a just God and he hates sin, he does not leave us to our own devices. For the wages of sin brings death but he offers us a free gift which is eternal life in him (Romans 6:23). God wants us to turn from sin to be cleansed and to be made whole and complete in him. He has lovingly provided the way through his death, burial and resurrection for us to have new life in and through him. Now that is the power of LOVE!
The fresh but salty ocean spray reminds of me the cleansing blood our Savior. Water representing cleansing from the stain of our sin and salt as a cleansing agent and a disinfectant. Because of his great LOVE for us, while we were dead in our trespasses and sin he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead, and by his grace he saves us (Ephesians 2:5). Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf forever washed away the sin we placed upon him. He cleanses us and makes us new and whole so that we can fully live for him and live eternally with him.
As I look out across the surface of the ocean I am reminded that it is beaming with unseen life living within it. So it is as a child of God. We look on the outward appearance and see but a man, but God sees within, He knows our hearts. Our inmost thoughts and feelings, nothing is hidden from his sight. As a child of God, we have the power of his constant companion the Holy Spirit living within. O, to dwell on that thought is most comforting. We are never alone in this world, we are not left to our own devices. With him, all things are possible (Mark 9:23) through the power of the Holy Spirit living and working within us. We can do all things through him who LOVES us and in him, we are more than conquerors.
On other days the ocean is tranquil and as smooth as glass. This reminds me of the peace that we find in Christ. Amidst the storms and trials we face in this life, God can give us the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). This kind of peace can only come from God because sometimes all our outward circumstances seem hopeless, but the inner peace God provides calms our fears. It is an abiding peace that tells us like a soft whisper in our ear, “it will be alright, trust in me, I LOVE you.”
And like the waves cannot be separated from the ocean so it is with God’s LOVE for us. Nothing can separate us from the LOVE of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39). This is such a great consolation to me. We can sometimes be like a ship in the ocean, tossed to and fro by the waves of our emotions and circumstances that drift into lives. But here in Romans it tells us that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from his LOVE. He paid the price for us once and for all and we are his.
The ever flowing waves rolling into the sand is like a kiss from our Savior. He is continually coming after us, pulling us unto himself. He provides for our needs, correcting, teaching and wooing us with his LOVE. He draws us unto himself (Jeremiah 31:3) because we are his, his dearly beloved, his own precious creation. What an amazing LOVE he has lavished on us that we can be called “children of God,” (1 John 3:1). We are his very own, created in his image.
Thank you Father God for the ultimate example of LOVE you have shown to us! You are LOVE! Thank you for the enjoyment we can have by looking at your creation and for the powerful images you have placed all around us that remind us of your great LOVE for us. Thank you for being a God who LOVES us so completely and so faithfully. Help us to feel your LOVE today. As we are reminded of the great LOVE that you have towards us, help us in turn to LOVE others with your kind of LOVE and to continually seek your face above all else! All glory and honor to you, our powerful Savior and King! AMEN