The power that can be found at the beach

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018

This week I am on a family vacation at the beach trying to write amid the noise created by 14 people who range in age from 2 to 71.  So, if I miss a comma or a sentence is missing a verb, please take pity.

We were here in 2014 on a vacation that ended abruptly when my adult son broke his neck.  By the grace of God, he survived and is thriving with an added plate and a few screws holding his head on his shoulders.  There are also a few missing parts to my heart and a few added wrinkles to my face from that last vacation to the beach. 

To be honest, it was difficult for this mama to come back here. There is a fear which is deep set in my bones that reminds me that laughter can turn to tragedy within seconds and scenes from an ICU room flashes through my brain and feels like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard. 

When everyone agreed to return to the scene of that fateful day included my son, I finally acquiesced. I believe I wouldn’t have done so if it had not been for remembering my fear needed to be replaced with faith. Wasn’t it God who saved my son that awful day and who allowed him to run, walk and swim again?

We have added two more babies to the brood since 2014 who are now two. 

Until Sunday, they never knew of the ocean or a sandy beach.  Two days later they squeal when they awake to the sounds of waves crashing to the shore.  Seashells and sand crabs fascinate them and then when the water laps at their feet they run kicking sand and waving arms in delight. 

Was it not so long ago when I was very young my parents took me to the ocean, and I squealed in delight as my father walked me into the waves?

Wasn’t it just yesterday when I traveled with my three little ones to the ocean where we built sand castles only to watch the waves wash them away? Wasn’t it just a few months ago when my 13-year-old granddaughter was two, and we laughed as we played in the warm gulf water?  Wasn’t it all just yesterday?

As I was asking myself these questions and watching my family play, I remembered something very fundamental. No matter what tragedy befalls me, the power of God will calm my fear, soothe my soul and return a smile to my face as I watch life continue.  The power of God is vast and endless just like the ocean.

I find myself wondering as I stand on the shore how one could not believe in God. I feel sad for folks who can’t turn to the power of God for aid when a child is severely injured or sick.

I am heartbroken when I think of those who see life only in numbers, science and earthly power.   

As I gaze at the sun glistening on the water where life is teeming just under its surface, I realize I am just myself a small fish in the vast sea.  I also know I am living on this earth for only a short time, but in my hours here, I have understood the healing power of the God who created the waves, the sand covering my toes, and the waves calming my heart.

“Grandma, grandma!” my 2-year-old grandchild screams as she races toward me with outstretched arms. 

“Ocean!” she yells and points to the water rushing toward her. I scoop her up and run with her as the waves wash around us. She laughs as I scream like the kid I once was when daddy held me in his arms not so long ago. 

And, that my friends, is what the healing power of God can do. He can soothe our souls, replace our fears, reminds us all that life continues and can make us squeal like a child again while he holds us in His mighty arms.

“If I take the winds of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”  Psalm 139: 9-10