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A balmy ocean breeze rustled the curtains as I sat on the balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico that night. From the fourth floor of the hotel I could see the dark waves crashing against the sand and I caught a whiff of salt in the air. I reflected on the many vacations spent at various beaches in my lifetime. I’ve always loved coming to the beach. Definitely my holiday trip of choice. John is a mountain guy, but give me the ocean every time. No contest.

The amazing thing about the beach is this: the consistency of things there… the ocean waves… the tide… the tide comes in and goes out every single day. The waves roll in unceasingly, over and over and over. The sun comes up. The sun goes down.

This speaks to me of God’s faithfulness. There are rhythms in God’s creation.

     

 

Sunrise.

Sunset.

 

Seasons.  Springtime. . . Summer. . . Autumn. . . Winter.

There are rhythms and order in God’s creation.

And the thing about those rhythms at the beach? It doesn’t matter whether I am there enjoying them or not. I can be in Kearney, Missouri completely oblivious to the happenings on the Gulf, but those waves are still crashing against the sand. Wave after wave after wave. Dependably rolling in and out. Over and over again, like clockwork. Never failing. The tide comes in and the tide goes out,  day after day. Whether I am watching or not, the beach is doing its thing.

Faithfully.

But as I sat there enjoying the sight and smell of the ocean from that balcony chair, I was irritated because of the sounds I was hearing. I love the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but all I could hear this evening was the deafening clamor of construction noise coming from a development project next door! It was so frustrating! We had flown from Missouri to Florida, we only had two nights, we had this beautiful high rise hotel room, and I had to listen to this? So I started complaining to the Lord. . . Because that’s what you do, right? You complain. “Lord, why do I have to listen to this heavy machinery? I want to hear the sound of the waves! I love coming to the beach because that’s when I can hear You speaking to me. . . but this construction equipment is so noisy! Why do I have to listen to this?”

I was in between jobs at the time and I had been struggling with what I was supposed to do next. Our nest was empty and I didn’t know what the Lord wanted me to do with my time. I had submitted my resume to a couple of potential employers, but no job was really panning out and I was discontent with my lack of direction.

And in the middle of those loud clanging Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel noises, this is what the Lord said to me.

“Stop trying to change the landscape of your life, Jeanne. You are drowning out the rhythms of My grace.”

Excuse me, Lord? What did You say?

Whoa.

So here’s the deal. Every day. . .  every minute of every day. . . every second of every minute of every day. . .  God’s grace is rolling over us. He is lavishing us with His unlimited and undeserved favor. He is directing our lives. He is controlling events and leading us in the way that we should go. We don’t have to strive and strain. We don’t have to create opportunities. He is leading. He goes before us. He follows us. There is a scripture that, translated in The Living Bible says this: You both precede and follow me and place Your hand of blessing on my head. I love that!

You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God!

                                                  Psalm 139:5-7

Whether I recognize it or not, God is doing His thing over me. He is consistently loving me. His waves of grace are unceasingly pouring over my life. I can relax, knowing that God is wooing me, He is drawing me into a relationship with Himself. He is always loving me and teaching me and guiding me. I can rest and allow myself to be directed.

I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.

                                                                   Psalm 32:8

Scripture assures us that, just as the rhythms of creation continue to ebb and flow, the Lord is faithful to guide us, His very own people, as we walk on this earth. Our job is to enjoy the beauty of the place He’s given us, and to rest, knowing that He will direct our path. Let Him be the One who landscapes your life today, my friend. Walk to the rhythm of His grace.

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