The beach is our happy place. It’s only a three-hour drive from our house, and every time we go down I tell myself that it’s been too long since we’ve been there. The kids run, run, and run some more. I set things up, hand out snacks, sit in a beach chair, and even read a paragraph and a half from a paperback in between applying sunblock and jumping waves and just staring at the waves.
At the beach a few weeks ago, the boys started digging a trench to bring water from the ocean up to a retaining pond. They watched with delight every time a wave came in far enough to make its way up the trench and slowly replenish the little pond scratched out on the seashore.
You would think that this game would eventually grow old, but it held its charm for more than an hour (that’s a decade in kindergarten focus) as they expanded their network of pools, added side trenches, and analyzed engineering challenges.
Then I heard a cry of alarm that made me turn and smile: “We’re running out of water! Help! Quick! What should we do?”
As you could probably guess, not every wave filled the pools. And as the tide receded, less and less water flowed up the trench.
The little engineers had only to dig deeper. They had only to extend their trench farther. Literally surrounded by water, the only reason they were out of their core resource was because the project didn’t tap into it.
And then I thought of the times I get discouraged or fearful or frantic because I’m feeling isolated, helpless, or out of strength. In these times, my vision is on my very real circumstances. This poverty mindset is a real thing for us humans. We’re running out of water! Quick! What should we do?
Life circumstances change. Tides recede and then flow again. In these times, I have only to dig deeper or “extend the trench” further. Deeper into Who God is; deeper into an understanding of the truth of His power, greatness, and majesty; deeper into a comprehension of His heart for His people and His love for all humanity.
“Every word of God proves true” (Proverbs 30:5). When feeling discouraged, when out of words to pray, when running out of water, tell your heart the truth of Scripture. Then use Scripture to pray those words to God.
- “He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3).
- “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20).
- “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I could go on, but that’s what your time with God tomorrow morning is for. Dig deep into the reality of Who God is. Pray His Words back to Him.
Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ, dear friend. The hardest day, the most boring job, the most exhausting project, the most debilitating mistake, the most hurtful action, the most discouraging relationship—nothing can separate you from the love of God. No action you take can lessen His love for you. No action you take can increase His love for you either. God’s love for you is constant, unfathomable, indefinable, and eternal. That is the love you can channel into today!
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. —C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”