Saturday, June 25, 2022

Powerful and Gentle

After flying to Lagos on Monday, our family went to the beach on Tuesday morning.  

I bustled around from child to child getting off clothes to swimwear waiting to be immersed in the salty water of the Atlantic, taking pictures of Daso as she saw the expanse of water for the first time, and attempting the impossible task of keeping everything from becoming sandy. 


Finally, we were ready and headed to the water, the waves rolling in powerfully.  

Olivia was the first to be swept and rolled over by the wave up on the shore, then Lydia was swept in, and I had to rush in to pull her out. 


We felt hesitant then to attempt going too close, as the undercurrent and power of the waves were intimidating.  I refused, however, to miss this opportunity to let Daso stand in the waves. 

 So, squeezing the blood out of my hand with her adrenaline infused grip, we bravely stepped into the water...slowly.  "Everything's moving, Mommy!" She shouted, "I want to go out!"  At that moment, the song, "I'm diving in, I'm going deep, and over my head I want to be..." came to mind.  I told her, "God's love is like these waves.  Overwhelming, powerful, expansive, and never stops coming.  But you can understand why people might be afraid to dive into that."  In his love, we come undone, immersed, surrounded.  It's beautiful and scary. We mostly found ourselves sitting and enjoying the power of it all.

 The next day we wanted to try a different beach that had been recommended to us.  We found a very different scene.  The waves were being tempered by a rock barrier some distance off shore.  We walked in, knelt in the sand with water up to our necks, and let the waves ripple around us.  The children swam and splashed and collected shells for hours. I thought, "God's love is like this, too! Gentle, continuous, soothing, inviting." 

In our devotions in the evening I shared how Elijah experienced God in the powerful fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice, stones, and licked up the water all around in his competition with the prophets of Baal.  Then he fled out of fear of a woman named Jezebel and met God again in a mountain where he wasn't in the fire, or the wind, or the earthquake, but in a whisper. God is so full of knowledge and love that he can speak to us with that love powerfully or gently wherever we find ourselves.  He knows when we are pumped up and ready to experience his power, and when the journey is too great for us.  

"Things never happen the same way twice, dear one," comes to my mind now, words that Aslan spoke to Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia.  I'm so glad they don't, because how else would we know the expanse of this dynamic love of God?

Go Away!

T here were children. Always so many children. Our children are a magnet for other children and so everywhere we go, they follow us giggling...