It was just another morning. I made my way out of bed, pushing away the temptation to sleep longer. I walked to the car and drove to the beach.
I love the beach. Nature refreshes me. However, it has quickly become routine.
I walked up the sandy path, trudging through the mundane, pushing through thoughts like sand. Yet, I still felt eager. Who doesn’t love a good walk on the beach? Hunger for God welled up inside.
When I crested the top of the small, sandy hill, I looked toward the shore. Normal gave way to majesty. I stopped a moment to soak it in.
The water itself was striking today, a clear gray-blue, reflecting the sun. The surf pulsating with life and freedom against the shore.
But I had seen this water before, and even though it was striking, it was a mere reflection of a greater glory.
Here was something new.
Towering above the water, a few miles from shore was a line of thunder heads. A long line, like an army at attention. One huge cloud towered in the center. Clearly, this was the General. The rest of the clouds seemed to follow his lead. Boats bobbed serenely in the water in front of me, oblivious to the threat that loomed behind them.
Yet behind this stalwart wall, the morning sunrise was filtering through. From my vantage point, I could see that although the clouds covered most of the sunrise, they could not extinguish it. Light burned through a hole adjacent to the General. The light was merely cloaked by the darkness.
The light was stronger. Behind that wall, the sun still rose with full force.
This was the vista that greeted me. The sand cradled my feet as I walked to the water’s edge. Waves danced and kissed my feet, leaving firm sand to walk on in their wake. In the distance, I saw a flash. My instincts told me to run away from the water, but when I looked above me, the sky was blue. Wispy white clouds floated lazily over head. The danger was still miles away. The ominous thunder growled softly in my ears.
I began to feel very small. Perspective fell as I remembered my Creator, these storm clouds attempting to mask light, a mere reflection of His majesty and power. How much greater was He Who created and sustained these things with a word, with nothing but a breath and a sound?
I am not typically aware of it, but in the background of my jumble of thoughts, I like to think that I am in control. It makes me feel safe, secure. But looming underneath that desire to be in control is pride.
I needed God to humble me today.
I needed to feel small.
Human control is an illusion.
We think we have this power to make choices and choose our own destiny, which in a sense is true. But we conveniently forget Who allows us to make choices in the first place.
Not only does Almighty God allow us to make choices, ultimately HE is in control of which choices land before us. Nothing comes our way without His foreknowledge or permission. This doesn’t mean that He cause bad choices to land in front of us, but He certainly allows them. He wants to use them for good when and if we make a poor decision. He wants to test our love for Him, to see where our allegiance really lies.
He alone sets up rulers and allows them to fall.
He chooses the seasons of prosperity and downfall for the nations.
He chooses which one of these nations we are each born into.
He sets us in families and chooses our geographic location on this planet He made.
If this weren’t enough, ultimately, He decides when He allows us to be born and when He allows us to die.
The mirage fell, and I saw clearly. I may think I am in control, but I never really have been.
Yes, I can make choices, but can I cause the sun to rise? Can I make one flash of lightning or cause thunder to peal from a cloud? Have I ever told the rain to fall? Who am I really in relation to all of this? I am a speck of a person in a world literally filled with billions of people, and I am doomed to wither away. (“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.” Isaiah 40:6b-7)
And yet, He sees me?
Praise welled up in me, as the waves and thunder echoed His roar.
Like Job, I had an epiphany.
This is my King. The Creator God.
Jehovah Sabaoth (the Lord of hosts).
El Elyon (the Most High God).
El Roi (the Strong One Who Sees).
He sees me.
El Roi sees you!
He sees that mountain of a storm cloud penning you in.
He sees the wall you raised inside your heart, protecting you from more hurt.
He is not blind to your circumstances.
He knows your name.
And His light is ready to break through.
Let go of control, and let Him break through.
Yield to Creator God!
My walk ended. I let the waves lap my feet as I gazed at ocean from shore. The clouds had moved visibly closer; the General was leading his troops. I took the hint and turned to head for home. The gray thunder clouds beat me back, yet my perspective was clearer. I hugged my preschooler and held my baby girl. Rain fell like blessings on my roof.
A few minutes later, the light broke through.