Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Beach

When I was younger, I didn't really like the beach. Growing up, every time I went to the beach it was such a task and I always got sunburned and sand got in EVERYTHING! It just wasn't pleasant for me. And somehow the waves always knocked me over and I always ended up drinking what seemed like gallons of salt water and I thought it was gross!
But over the last few years I've developed a deep love for the beach. The beach is a place where I feel so close to God. A dear person in my life who recently moved near the beach once told me she loved to go down and sit by the water alone and just listen to God. This is something I wanted to do for a long time and when I finally got around to doing it, I thought it was one of the greatest things! When I tell people that I go to the beach by myself to read or journal or pray or sleep, they think I'm crazy but there's nothing quite like it. Sleeping in the sun is one of my all time favorite things to do! So I always enjoy doing that when I make a trip to the coast. I am so blessed to get to live in Southern California where I can go to the beach in January or really anytime I want. I got to go three times in the last week and it was absolutely gorgeous! I also completed my longest run to date at the beach this weekend! This past week when I made a solo trip to celebrate the end of my Spanish class (wahoo!) I was sitting and looking at the water, listening to the waves crash. As I sat there I was praising God for the power of the sun and amazed at the beauty of the creation I was surrounded by. Then as I was praying I realized how my times at the beach are reflective of God in my life. When I go to the beach, I often focus on the sun. Either feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin or watching the sunset. In my life, I want the Son to be the focus. Waves roll in and waves roll out, but you always know the waves are going to continue to crash against the shore. To me, waves are a sign of God's strength. No matter what may come and go in  our lives, I know the strength of my God will never change. Luke 12:6-7 says "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten by God. Why, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than sparrows." This is the verse that comes to mind when I think about the grains of sand on the beach and how God knows how many are there. He knows the number of hairs on my head and cares for every detail in my life. Water is a sign of purity and cleanliness. It reminds me that my sins have been washed away but the blood of Jesus. And lastly, the cool, coastal breeze reminds me of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I'm in awe of the power of God to speak to us through His creation and I am so thankful that I live in a place like Southern California where the beach is not too far away and always beautiful!
Every semester I try and change the design/background of my blog and this time I decided to make it the beach because it had become such a special place for me. As I endure the day to day life of school, being an RA, and training for a half marathon, I do not want to lose sight of the Son my life. He knows what lies ahead and will be with me every step of the way.

(photo cred: Ariella Baugh)

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