Jul20WedJuly 20, 2016
Last week, our family had the opportunity to spend the week in North Carolina. While there, took a few trips to the Atlantic coast to enjoy the beach. This provided us the opportunity to expose our toddlers to the ocean for the very first time. Their response was unforgettable. They were terrified! The roar of the crashing waves overwhelmed their young ears. Therefore, we didn’t just walk right into the water.
First we got used to playing in the sand. After they became accustomed to the roaring ocean, then we tried to introduce them to the water. That didn’t work either! Terror set in again. Therefore, we changed our strategy. We dug a hole in their covered ‘play area’ and brought buckets of water to them – pouring the salty water into a small, manageable pool. By doing this, they quickly warmed up to the idea of life on the beach. We eventually were able to convince them that sitting near the lapping waves was also enjoyable. It was quite a process – but worth every moment!
While it was happening, I couldn’t help but think about how appropriate their response was. The ocean IS terrifying. The surging waves can be very dangerous. It’s depth and width not only makes it overwhelming to comprehend but its expanse makes the ocean an incredibly dangerous place without the proper nautical equipment and safety precautions. By design, the ocean is a terrific reminder of the grandeur of God. Our God is knowable but also beyond understanding. Our God is good but also worthy of reverent awe.
Our daily reading have been taking us through the book of John, wherein the apostle reminds us of the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. “The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). We cannot comprehend God, but we can comprehend a man. As fully man and fully God, Jesus gave us a glimpse into God’s character, His power and the depth of His love without immediately overwhelming us - similarly to how we brought buckets of ocean water into our sons’ play area.
As our readings take us to the end of the Gospel of John, consider how Jesus has revealed the grandeur and power of God to you. Consider his miracles, his message, his death and his resurrection. He could overwhelm us all at once, and indeed one day He will, but for now, He reveals His character chapter by chapter, moment by moment, and bucket by bucket (so to speak). Also remember that you and I have so much more to know and appreciate about the God the formed the ocean and continues to orchestrate the crashing of its waves all around the world. He is worthy of reverence and awe.