I love the beach.
No, I don’t think you understood what I said. I LOVE THE BEACH! Did you get it?
There is honestly no other place in the world that I feel as close to God. The vastness of the ocean reminds me of the vast love my God has for me. The individual grains of sand make me think of the millions of individuals that live on this earth–all of whom are loved by that same vast love. The warm sun equates to Jesus, the breeze–the Holy Spirit… Forgive me, I started getting a bit poetic. Do you see why I am so enamored with the beach?
It was at my favorite place that I had one of the biggest “say what” moments of my life. When I go on vacay, I make sure to have plenty to read while I am basking in the wonder of the beach. One particular trip found the book Come Thirsty by Max Lucado in my bag. I love Max’s writing style, and always find his books to be a good read. This book is about “dehydrated souls”, and how a person can “rehydrate” by drinking from the well of grace offered by God. It has some challenging personal questions at the end of each chapter,and a great one to read at the ocean where you are surrounded by water but can’t drink any of it (goes right along with the dehydrated theme).
Anyway, enough book review. I had been reading this book, doing the Bible study at the end of the chapter, not expecting any major life event. Little did I know I had a divine appointment waiting at the end of chapter 2. Following reflection and study, the reader was asked to deeply examine some aspect of the chapter. At the end of chapter 2, I was to invite God to meet with me, and pray through Psalm 51 so that God could apply the words to my own heart. Off I go, reading the verses, chatting with God. Until I got to verse 10. I’m going to give you verses 10-13, and then I will give you the lowdown on the my showdown with God–“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You.” I sensed during the reading of the three verses before 13 that something was coming. Ever get that feeling? It’s an odd one. When I read verse 13, do you know what our God told me? That I was going to teach women about God, and I would do that through writing a Bible study! I sat up straight in my chair and thought, “Say what???? Who are you talking to??? You certainly don’t mean me–I teach elementary children! I am not a writer, and I certainly cannot write a Bible study! I must not have heard you clearly!”
You ever had an experience nag at you? Like it wouldn’t go out of your head? Like every time you had a moment, that whatever was in your thoughts? That was me. And needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, my perfectly tranquil trip to the beach became restless. I argued with God anytime He brought that verse to my mind (and it was a lot, believe me!). But my God was pursuing me with His plan, and He didn’t give up. Finally, I gave up. I said OK, I’ll write. And I did write–eventually. It took me two years to get a Bible study written–I am sad to say however, that if I had actually started writing when I returned from the beach, it would have been done much, MUCH sooner. I dragged my feet and didn’t write. Why? Because silly me thought if I took long enough to do it, God would forget it. Go ahead and laugh–I certainly have over the years!
That moment on the beach resulted in a change, a slow change, in focus. I wrote the study, self published, and began speaking at some women’s events. I left full-time employment, wrote some more, started a blog, got a social media page (that I thought I would never do), attended a speaking/writing conference… My life has turned completely around, and it all started with a “Say What????” moment with God.
So what about you? Have you felt God’s nudging to do something so beyond you that you can’t even imagine doing it? I can sympathize my sister. There was NOTHING comfortable about what God called me to do, and continues to call me into. It’s not easy to walk a different path, but there is great comfort in knowing that God doesn’t leave us alone. Isaiah 41:13 (NIV) says “For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Draw strength from that verse, and take the step. You never know what’s out there, just waiting for your radical obedience…
And, if you are looking for something “radical” to serve your family, try this out. It’s a recipe for roasted cauliflower and it is delish!
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