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The Push and Pull of the Sea

We’re headed out of town next week. The Lord opened a door for us which happened to hinge on a beachfront condo, and we’re walking through. I look forward to it in a way that you cannot imagine.

I have a dichotomic relationship with the beach. I don’t really like it. I can buy sand at Walmart, more than enough to fill my shorts and dump on the upholstery of my car. However, the beach is where the sea meets land, and for some reason, is the place where I have had some of the deepest God encounters of my life. Trips to the sea also seem to mark seasons in our life…and I’m yearning for this trip to mark us in a way that baptizes us into a new season.

It started for me about ten years ago. Back before I thought much about dreams, I had two very intense dreams – one where I was watching the sea and overwhelmed with it’s power, and the next that had me in the sea itself, pushed, pulled, yanked and tumbled. Each time I was about to be smashed on the rocks, I’d get pulled back out to sea.

I sense the sea represented God’s power and movement, but didn’t know what to think about it until a few years later, when a friend had the exact same dream…except as he was being thrown to and fro, I went by him on a surfboard. The idea of being comfortable in that setting intrigued me. I’m still scared of the sea….but I want in.

Not long after my friends’ dream, I found myself staring out into the Gulf of Mexico, having the heart experience that my original dream pointed to. It was as if God invited me to try and stop the waves….and laughed at me as I thought about it. No wall was going to stop this force. It would move as it wished and to resist it was foolishness.

That encounter, along with things that were happening at a church in Pensacola at the time, changed how I looked at, talked to and walked with God. A season shifted, and I began to know God differently.

Some years later, I sat on a balcony of a borrowed condo in Daytona, watching the the waves pound the shore. This time, the power was accompanied by an overwhelming sense of goodness. Wave after wave hit the sand as wave after wave swept over me.

With that, another season shifted. A few short weeks later, we were jetting to Las Vegas to pick up a newborn girl. I now thought about the heart of a Father in a new way.

Of course, this vacation might be nothing more than time off, some Skipbo with the kids, and a good sunburn…but somehow, I don’t think so. If God responds to hunger, He’s going to meet me there.

I’m expectant. It’s different than excited. It’s got a touch of empty mixed in there. Anticipation. Need.

It’s all a part of the shift.


3 Responses

  1. And I was SURE what you were looking forward to most was what will surely be my rousing rendition of “Davey Crockett” as we drive through Kentucky.

  2. I pray that life changing encounter for you and your whole family.
    May this time you spend where the land meets the sea be where the Lord breathes His very breath of life anew within you.
    May you feel His tangible presence and His unquestionable adoration for you all!
    May you all come home with sun/son kissed cheeks. *smile*

    Blessings and the joy of the Lord to you1

  3. I just returned from an unexpected trip to the gulf shore-a gift of God from a source I never would have expected. A gift in response to a hunger for something I still can’t name. It was a season of both planting and harvesting, and I may never know what was accomplished. I only know I’m thankful for the experience, and pray it bears fruit. The sea is overflowing with life we can’t see, truly appreciate or take part in… yet, but it’s left me hungering for more. Maybe that’s what He intended.

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