Let God cultivate the seeds of life
Eagerly this morning, upon waking, I made my way to the balcony of the beach condo where we had stayed overnight. Determined to catch the sun upon its rising, I wasted no time laying around in bed.
With it being very early, with only the slightest sliver of the moon still shining, I ventured out into the new day. A rush of warm salty air greeted me as I opened the door, causing my glasses to completely fog over. Pulling them from my face, I wipe away the moisture with my shirt.
On the breeze, the distinctive smells of the gulf, along with the crashing of the waves along the beach, overtake my senses. I stand in awe as I watch the Master’s creation awaken before me.
An increasing glow catches my eye as the sun peaks out from behind the distant waters, the eastern sky bursting alive with colors. A smile forms within my heart and my praises to God soar for all this beauty.
But even as I am taking in all this glory, I can’t help but notice people hurriedly going about setting up tents and temporary shelters along the shore. I know before the sun rises very high in the sky, the waterfront will be lined with staked out territories. Many with marked boundaries. It’s summertime in Texas and the beaches are full of vacation-enjoying families looking to take a break from the stressors of everyday life.
I completely understand the desire, as I come here to relax and spend time with friends and family. And as I watch them going about preparing for the day, I remember why I came out here this early… to spend time in reflection, read Scripture and speak to God about my day ahead. I have found in my walk with Jesus, that when I purposely seek Him in the morning (study, meditate on His words) my day, though it may have twists and turns, doesn’t overwhelm me with surprises.
Upon our arrival yesterday at the condos, my wife and I sat out on the balcony relaxing and people watching. We saw small children struggling to make it across the sands to the water, their parents doing their best to hold on to them. Volleyball being played by a group of young men, while they laughed and teased each other. A couple running along the shore with dogs by their side. And carts of every size and make, zooming up and down the beach.
I point out to my wife a young girl and her mother walking with a trail of seagulls overhead following along. The girl has a bag with a loaf of bread in her hand, occasionally she reaches in, takes a piece and flings it in the air. The reaction of the birds is instantaneous, loud screeching, dive bombing, battling for each piece she tosses. All the while she is laughing, completely enthralled with the birds’ performance. But as she walks along the birds’ numbers are increasing. Very quickly, where it was fun to tease the birds with her bread, she is becoming overwhelmed with all the birds’ attention. It is becoming an absolute nightmare. Holding her hands over her head for protection from their bombardment, she drops the bag. Pandemonium ensues as seagulls nearly blacken the air around her in a swirling nightmare of feathers and screeches. They pursue her as the attack continues with the goal of capturing the bread. Running away crying, the little girl’s fun is no more.
As I watched this all unfolding, I pondered the sight.
How often do we feel overwhelmed by our situation just like the child before us. In fact, this week had been very much like this in my mind. Something I thought I had under control got away from me in an instant. And it seemed like I was going to be overwhelmed with a swirling mass of confusion. Old fears I thought had been dispelled, came slopping back around, like an old piece of gum stuck to my shoe.
Rather than surrendering my thoughts and worries to Jesus and allowing Him to direct my thoughts, I tried to handle them with a stiff upper lip. And just like the swirling, dive bombing birds, my past insecurities attacked my mind stealing my peace. Only after realizing the real issue was trust, my trust that God was working for my good. And confessing my need of His encouragement and presence did the fog in my mind clear. That is why I start my day before Him. I need His hand upon me.
It is a constant task to focus on the blessings around me, the peace of His love upon me and the truth of His word. Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and overwhelmed and I will give you rest.” That’s what I need.