THE VAST OCEAN

Is there a special place where you seem to feel God’s presence most powerfully?

For me, one place where I always seem to feel God’s presence most powerfully is the beach.

Marco Island beach

                                                  Marco Island, FL

When I was young, my family would often vacation in North Wildwood, NJ to enjoy the beach and boardwalk there. We would always stay in the same motel, The Flying Dutchman, usually with an ocean view room that was a short walk to the beach. I think because of that, I have always enjoyed spending time at the beach and ocean especially as I became an adult. Even as a child, I would be sad when it was time to leave and return back home; I just wanted to stay there and be in God’s presence. On a side note, we took our kids to North Wildwood a few years and were surprised to see The Flying Dutchman was still there….just remodeled! 🙂

beach kid

                                     Back in the day at North Wildwood, NJ

I have been blessed to continue to vacation at a beach often and have gotten spoiled to frequent places where we are able to rent a condo right on the beach. That way there is easy access to and from the beach, and you can cook your own meals whenever you want. I have enjoyed sharing my love of the beach with my children through the years, and it was a good place to vacation, especially when they were younger.

When I go to the ocean, I seem to encounter God more powerfully and sense His presence. It is still difficult when it is time to pack up and return home.

jenny sunrise

                                      Virginia Beach, VA

What makes the ocean so special to me?

–I love to look out and see miles and miles of the vast ocean water-you can’t see the beginning nor the end of it…it just flows on continually all day and night…

–I marvel at the width and depth of the ocean waters…

–How does the water continually flow from one place to another…back and forth…all under God’s command?

–It is amazing to think how the the tides come in and out each day…

–Sometimes the waves are enormous and sometimes they are few and far between…

–I love to think about all the life that is present in the ocean waters…each type of fish, crab, starfish, sand-dollar, shark, dolphin, sea plants having its own life pattern and serving the purpose God has in mind…

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      A sand-dollar at Marco Island, FL. So cool to see it breathing!

–The uncountable grains of sand in the ocean and on the beaches each with its own special purpose in God’s plan…

–I think it’s neat to think about the many Bible stories of Jesus and his disciples that were near the water…

–There is a peacefulness in listening to the waves soothing my soul…

O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.  –Psalm 89:9 (NIV)

This summer my family was blessed to visit a new-to-us beach place called Marco Island in Florida, which is on the southwest coast. I felt like I was in heaven because it was such a beautiful place with the water having a blue-green hue to it, and there were such calm waters there. My kids were actually disappointed the waves were so calm, but for me, it was just perfect. You could go out in the 85 degree ocean waters and just float around for hours not having to worry about waves. Technically, it is the Gulf waters rather than the ocean, so I’m wondering if that is why.

marco beach

                       The tranquil waters of Marco Island, FL

Being on the west coast of Florida provided for stunning sunsets glistening upon the ocean waters every night. I was glad a friend mentioned about taking a picture for her the first night. Then, it was so much fun and so beautiful, that every night I had the pleasure of seeing God’s majestic glory of the sunsets. It was great to take so many pictures of them.

Seeing the sunrise or the sunset shows me God’s presence, and I love to soak them in.

seagull marco island (2)

  SO PROUD OF THIS SHOT… a bird in the sunset at Marco Island, FL

For me, the ocean is a wonder of God’s presence where His awesome love and beauty flow forth. I feel the glory and the splendor of the Lord at the ocean!

The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the Lord on high is mighty. –Psalm 93:3-4 (NIV)

A friend of mine was just at the beach last week, and I felt her words best summarized my thoughts of being at the beach exactly:

“There is a peace to be found at the ocean’s edge. Words cannot touch the part of our souls that a pounding surf reaches. This gives life a tranquil place of rest.” –Mischell Barbieri

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                     Ship Bottom, NJ Photo credit by Mischell Barbieri

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number–living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. –Psalm 104:24-26 (NIV)

10 Comments

  1. Oh yes. There is something in nature especially at the beach that makes us feel closer to God. I think it’s the breeze, or the relaxing sound of the waves or the stunning view. God displays His spectacular work in nature. We see nature we see God’s hands. It’s an amazing experience, right?

    Like

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