Doug Creamer: The beach
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2019
When school finally lets out, I am always ready to get away to the beach. I was so glad to get down there this year. Why is it when you step out on the beach that all of life’s problems and challenges just seem to melt away? Whatever makes that happen, I was glad the magic worked this year.
I went to the beach with a list of things that I wanted to talk with the Lord about. After retiring, I thought there were lots of things we needed to go over. But when I heard the sound of the waves, it seemed to take all those concerns right out to sea.
I forced myself to start discussing things with the Lord. I felt like I needed lots of time to cover my whole list. Have you ever felt that way? He was patient, and we worked through the list in record time.
Then I asked Him what was on His heart. Things got quiet. The breeze blew in my ears. I took a deep sigh and asked again. I know that God often wants to talk and share His heart with me. Heaven remained quiet.
I walked the beach, allowing the water to wash up on my feet. The pelicans flew by and I counted them. I saw a shell and picked it up. I watched the waves. I looked up at the clouds. More pelicans flew by.
It was so peaceful. My wife and I had the beach to ourselves. We stood and looked out at the water for a long time. More pelicans and some seagulls made their way down the coast. The sun felt warm, but the water felt cool on my feet.
It was completely peaceful. I could feel the presence of the Lord standing there with us. He remained quiet. It was like He was enjoying the peacefulness, too. I whispered again, “Is there anything on your heart?” He stood quietly looking out at the water.
We started to walk again. My soul was at rest in His presence. He seemed to be enjoying the peacefulness as much as we were. We stopped again, watching the water. I could see the joy in my wife’s eyes. I was so happy to be at the beach. I felt His presence, His peace washed over me like the waves at my feet.
On the second day, there was a cool breeze coming off the water. I immediately sensed HIs presence as we made our way down the beach. We stopped and watched the waves and the water. His presence was inviting. I asked again, “Is there anything on your heart?” This time He responded with, “Shhh, be still.” His peace and joy flooded my soul.
The peaceful walk continued. I had to ask again, “What’s on your heart?” His answer was so gentle, “I want you to rest. Allow my Spirit to wash over you, to refresh you, to restore your tired soul.” He didn’t want anything from me. He didn’t expect anything from me. He just wanted to be with me.
I could do that. God was granting me permission to do nothing. It would be a little out of my character to do nothing, to not have long talks with God. Don’t misunderstand, I did pray and I did talk with God about some issues, but mostly I just spent time with Him. I rested. I didn’t expect deep insights or profound answers. I allowed myself to just
relax in His presence.
Do you know what happened by the time I left the beach? I was refreshed. I felt the peace of God working in my heart. I was actually satisfied. While I am always sad leaving the beach, I was OK this time. I had spent some time with my Father, His Son, and the Spirit, who could ask for anything more? I had done what I needed to do, I let the Spirit work on me. I let the beach refresh and renew me. I am ready to discover what retirement means for me.
I know I just told you the story of my trip to the beach, but I do want to encourage you to do what I did. Spend some time with God. Don’t take your prayer list, your worries, or even your concerns. Just be with Him and allow His Spirit to touch and renew you. I believe that sometimes it’s OK to just be with Him. No questioning, no seeking, just being. Give it a try, I hope you will be refreshed.