I had…this moment this morning. Well, maybe I had two. Two moments that just stilled me. Two times I paused…Selah. First, as I tiptoed downstairs to start the perk, I couldn’t help but notice the brightness shining in through my window. I turned to look and saw the round and full and illuminating moon! I stood there in a moment of silent awe.
The second was the very first line of scripture I read out of Matthew 13:
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting beside the sea.”
I’ve never thought too much about this. Jesus did a lot of his ministry by the sea, but here was a day – a day in which he had had assertive, heated, and pointed conversations with the religious leaders. He had even just put in perspective the position his biological family held in his life. Jesus had said and done some controversial things that were at least misunderstood and at most enraging. And on “that same day, Jesus…was sitting by the sea.”
I know He goes on to teach and eventually He must get inside a boat due to the large crowds, but for that moment (who knows how long it was), Jesus was sitting by the sea.
I’ve sat by the sea several times in my life. I grew up in North Carolina and my Memaw, mom, and aunts all love (!!!) the beach! We’d go and rent a nothing-to-speak-of motel room, just good enough to sleep in at night, and spend the entire day at the beach. We’d tan, walk the piers, peruse the shops, eat at places that made the best grits, collards, and barbeque, watch shag contests (a type of dance), and…just sit by the ocean and look and dream. The ocean is huge! The greatness of the mass of blue with white foam and salty spray, it takes you places even if your body never leaves the sand.
When days and months and lives are just hard and overwhelming and discouraging, sitting in front of an ocean (or a mountain range;)) can make it all come into its right place. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” “Seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be added…” When you look out on a sea so vast, all else does fade and you gain this confidence that all that is needed will come. It’s probably one of the reasons that those who live year long at the beach have a more carefree way of life. Standing beside (or living among) something so much greater than yourself does that to you.
Now, in reality the sea was not greater than Jesus in all His deity, but in His manhood, a perspective that must have been a bit different than that of Creator, this large body of water would have provided Him with a peace, a reflection, or a reminder of Who had this day completely under control. I need a reminder like that…pretty much daily.
(These photos are from our Charleston trip last summer, pre-Ruthie.)