I’ve always been a little bit afraid of the ocean.
Whether it’s the mystery of just what exactly lies below its depths, the incredible power of the waves, its influence over the weather, or all three, I don’t know.
And yet, I find myself strangely drawn to it, wanting to be close, but not too close. With every opportunity I get to be at its shore, I find myself just staring out, seemingly at nothing – the way a newborn baby can lock gaze at something only they can see. Many of the moments I’ve felt closest to Him in my life have been when He has met me there.
The spiritual parallels between the ocean and our life with God are endless. Simply the vastness of the ocean is a “punch in the gut” reminder of how insignificant we are.
For me, it’s the waves.
Before I really understood the depth of love and grace that God has for me (and you), I’d witness the power of each wave, feel it hit me in the back and knock me down, and about the instant I’d get my legs under me and get a breath, another would crash on me and knock me down again.
All the while, rip currents were trying to pull me out to the deeper water, where I couldn’t stand and would surely drown. At that time in my young life of faith, those relentless waves signified the tough things in life, my failures, the sin I still struggled with.
It was relentless, never-ending, no break, as if God was judging me and allowing the waves to get stronger until, even though I was off balance, drenched, and gasping for air, I was able to get my legs under me and conquer my own baggage. I never did.
Now, I see Him in the waves differently. Instead of judgement, it’s grace. Wave after wave, crashing over me. As a more mature believer, my failures and the sin I struggle with is still a part of me. In fact, I’m more acutely aware of it than I ever was as a young buck.
But now, I see the crashing waves, one after another after another – with no end – as the clearest picture of His mercy and grace washing the guilt and shame away completely. His word describes it this way,
“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16
Each moment, He sends another wave of grace and mercy for you, and what you’re struggling with. The waves NEVER stop. His grace never ends.
If you have the chance to experience the ocean this summer, as you look out at the expanse, let Him draw you in to his unending mercy and grace, and to the mystery of it all. And as you see wave upon wave never ceasing, whisper in the rhythm of each wave, “grace upon grace”.
He loves you that much.
Brand Director, STAR 93.3
Awesome! Very well said. I love to stare out into the ocean when we are on vacation. This will remind me to think of “grace upon grace”.
Jan, thank you for reading! Blessings on your week. -Matt
I agree with Jan, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing and making the obvious connection that is so easy to comprehend (if anyone can actually comprehend God’s grace).
I once felt God’s love coming at me in waves as I stood and talked to a pastor. Wave after wave of pure love left me standing in awe and I wanted to stand there forever in the beauty of that feeling. When I look at the ocean, I think of those waves of love washing over me. I can’t wait to feel His love like that again when I stand in His presence.