It is my last full day on the island of Barbados. I decided after breakfast to go down to the beach right in front of our guest house. I had yet to take in that particular spot. So here I go, by myself, in search for Elizabeth a treasure from the sea. I walked back and forth allowing the waves to spill only onto my feet and ankles as I looked. The many shades of the turquoise ocean have yet to bore me. And while the loud roar of the waves has made some of our conversations difficult to hear, I still take a deep breath at the mightiness of the constant sound.
After walking a bit and finding a few treasures just the right size to pack in my suitcase, I sit down on a big rock. The water splashes once in a while over my feet enough to cool me. “You’ve carried me through it all….everything I have come through, You have seen me through it. I have learned to trust You, to rely on You and to need nothing more than You. Sometimes that can cause others to misunderstand me and think they don’t matter to me. Nothing is further from the truth….yet the reality of living life from a freedom of knowing that my significance, worth and value can only be realized as I look dead center on the sufficiency of the finished work on the Cross. Fill me with a fresh love.”
While sitting on that rock, looking out over the horizon and back again to the coming and going of the tide, I thought of my “picture of God” I had drawn back in the summer of ’99. I had believed the lie that God was One who played cruel tricks on His children and was playing one on me by yanking one ministry opportunity after another out of my reach. All of a sudden this one shell caught my attention. It was being carried in and then back out again with each new wave. I remembered what I had learned about the ocean and shells. The continual movement refines these shells, turning them into smooth stones. After many motions of the rough sand over them, back and forth through the ocean, eventually they are smoothed….much like me. The dark, difficult times of my life have been refining, conforming me to the work of the Father.
In this moment, I saw a beautiful picture of God: He has always been at work, preparing me and preparing others for me. Instead of yanking opportunities like a cruel trickster, He has been orchestrating something beautiful that only He could see. He loves me and He loves those I will minister to and He knows what is best. He knows when it is best. I can trust Him still and join Him in what He is already doing in my life. I don’t need to seek some thing, He will guide me to it. I don’t need to envy someone else’s opportunity of ministry; I am content where He has me. Trust, reliance and dependence: good choices I can make because of who I am and Whose I am.
Cynthia (Now that I am back home, you can find my blogs at: ragamuffintea.blogspot.com)