Saturday, May 21, 2011

Like waves come to the shore and recede again, God approaches us.

Re-posted from an earlier blog February, 2011:

Like waves come to the shore and recede again, God approaches us. 

It’s an odd concept, but I think it’s true.  Imagine conversing with someone you enjoy talking with… you may talk for an hour, three hours, nine hours… or however many hours, but at one point no matter how much you love the person, you need (or want) to move on. The conversation must end (for a time.) You want to be able to act on some of what was discussed, or at the very least ponder it in your heart.

For healthy relationship, there must come a point where you are able to step back and ponder.  

That moment comes when the wave recedes. If the waves just kept coming and never receded, you would never have the moment to pause and ponder… to ponder the magnificence of God, the presence of God (if you always felt His presence, you may not recognize it was there, but one little break from it and instantly you feel that something’s missing), also you would never experience erosion.

Water sweeps in and sweeps out. When it goes out it cleanses the shore of debris (and literally takes a bit of shore with it.) if you think of us as the shore… it’s like He takes away the debris (the junk in our lives) and slowly erodes the unhealthy bits of us… ultimately shrinking the shore and leaving more water… making us more like Him. And that is a beautiful thing.

As the wave rolls back out, that is the pause in our conversation.

We may feel the water has left us. We may suddenly feel alone, but it’s a natural part of what God is doing.  Sometimes He seems silent or distant merely because the wave is rolling out… giving us a rest from the overwhelming onslaught of His presence… He’s willing to flood us, to roll in and just keep covering our shore and all the land that lies beyond, but—even for all our big talk of wanting to submit to Him and His will for our lives—we are typically afraid and don’t really want it.  God is a gentleman in His approach to us.  He won’t barge in and take over… He won’t simply flood our lives if we don't want Him, but He won’t stop working in and on our hearts either… And in that way He is as relentless as the sea with its waves ever lapping at our shore.

Sometimes when the time is right (and only He can read our hearts well enough to know when that is) He sends a storm our way and the waves strike harder, more fiercely, eroding more, covering more of the shore. It may be a fearful thing for us, but in those times God is seizing an opportunity to show us more of himself.  Have you ever watched the power and majesty of a storm-driven wave striking land. It’s fierce, but it is beautiful.

And that is our God… fierce and beautiful. With a heart so kind as to only send the storms when we can truly survive them. With a desire to send us a flood that will keep the conversation going on joyfully forever, but gentle and gentlemanly enough to wait until our hearts can truly take it.

I want that conversation to go on forever… I want the flood. Yet even as I write that I know… there is currently a lot of debris on my shore.  I fear—fear is just another bit of debris—the flood would drive the debris from my shore further inland and pride, or selfishness, or any number of other bits of debris would keep me from really letting the conversation flow as God desires it too. He knows my heart far better than I. So, He keeps coming… in and out… wave after crashing wave… driving further inland, and sweeping out to sea again, pulling back the things that keep my shores from being as pristine as He intends them to be… the things that keep me from seeing Him as the loving, kind, powerful-yet-gentle, wondrous, magnificent, and trustworthy God He is.

How great God is to be both relentless and loving, both forceful and self-controlled… To love me enough to never stop coming my way, but to give me those times where He recedes a bit so I can feel what it would be like without Him and be reminded of how much I look forward to the day when He comes in like a flood and our conversation never ends.

Thank You God... for who You are and how You interact with us so masterfully. 

I love You always.

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