I was so thrilled to see a low tide early yesterday morning. The height of the tide, and having to be away for a week, have made it two weeks since I last had an early morning walk on the beach.
As I got to my favourite spot I greeted the birds, crabs and reef fish like old friends. It never ceases to amaze me how the beach changes from day to day. As I looked for familiar rocks I was astounded to see the one I pictured on this blog a few weeks back, the masterpiece, was almost wholly buried under the sand. I couldn’t find it at first as only a small portion of one corner was visible. The sand was firmly packed on top of the rocks I had walked around a couple of weeks ago. New pools have appeared where there were none. But they are rocks and I know that they are still there, solidly under my feet, under the water. I know too that they will appear again, next week maybe or the week after. They are not fickle, these rocks, they are dependable. They go with the flow, they withstand the blows. They emerge triumphant for a time and then accept their sublimation with equanimity, knowing they will have their chance to glow in the light again.
On this journey through life there are many times when we are covered with sand, when we are in a place that is gritty and dark and maybe a little suffocating. If you are anything like me you do not respond well to these testing times. I squawk and squall and am most ungracious in the chaffing that is so necessary to form me into that which my Creator wishes me to be. I have yet to learn the lesson of the rocks: that time and tide wait for no man. I forget that I need this time of grinding, of filing and smoothing in order to better perform my role when it is my turn to do so. I forget that if I am grounded on my Rock, it does not matter what life washes over me, I will be secure. I may be hidden for a while under a pile of sand, but in time it will wash away and I will see the light of day once more.
A favourite book of mine in the Bible is Jeremiah. Chapter 17 is one that is well thumbed. Verses 5 – 6 give a warning: be careful if you depart from the Lord, if you separate yourself, if you make man, or yourself, your strength, because you will not see good when it comes. Truly, when I am in that dark place, having taken my eyes off the Lord and am looking to man to meet my needs, I see no good around me. I fall into a black pit of despair. But when I am in right standing with Him, wonders abound!
I have had a special sighting on each of the last three days. I call these “God moments”. The first was a red duiker, which I have never seen before, coming out of the dune bush onto the road in front of my car as I arrived back here on Saturday. I have seen his spoor a couple of times and finally I got to see him. It was so special and I felt God was saying “Welcome back”! Yesterday I saw a mongoose in the same area – another first here. This morning the first dove I have seen came a pecking around my little patch of dune. I believe each of these is a token of love from my Maker, a soupçon to delight my heart, to encourage me. How sad it might have been if I had missed them. Many times we allow ourselves to get so busy fighting for our slice of the pie, wanting our own way no matter the cost, that we miss out on much of the wonder and blessing that God has lined up for us.
We get ensnared by “My way”, instead of “His way”; we want it all no matter the cost. I want to change that in my life. I want to be able to embrace each season for what is worth and not for what I want. I want to be able to shine for all I am worth when it is my turn in the light, don’t you?