My family and I just got home from a two-week adventure in the Northwest.
We spent the first week vacationing our way out to Portland for a speaking engagement. We camped at Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, stayed with friends in Boise, and spent three days in a beach house on the Oregon Coast (Gleneden Beach to be specific) as the guests of the people who had brought me out to speak.
The time we spent on the Oregon coast was so refreshing.
Every morning, the kids and I would ride our bikes down to the beach and play in the ice-cold water. Well, they would play and I would watch from a warmer perspective–wearing a hoodie, in my chair, wrapped in a blanket.
Those mornings on the Pacific were some of my favorite moments of the entire trip. I loved watching my kids playing on the beach.
One morning I noticed some things that reminded me of God and His power.
To my right there was a father with a young child. I figure the child was about two-years-old.
The father was intent on taking a picture of his child next to the water. Well, he really seemed intent on taking a picture of his child with his child’s back to the water, which was not going to happen.
The father kept turning his child away from the water, but the child would immediately turn back to face the raging sea.
There’s just something about the power of the ocean that is captivating.
There’s just something about the power of God that is captivating.
Further down the beach to my left, a family was gathered for a family portrait.
They were all dressed in variations of white and denim. Well, all except the one young man who apparently didn’t get the memo because he was wearing a bright red shirt. He’s probably a son-in-law.
It looked to me like the photographer with whom they were working was a professional. He looked like he knew what he was doing from his perch mid-way up the ocean-side cliff.
The family stood with their backs to the ocean in various combinations for an hour while their pictures were taken.
The ocean was beautiful that morning. What a beautiful setting for a family picture.
The ocean is so beautiful.
God is so beautiful.
Close to my left there’s a tree that is trapped between the beach and the ocean. My boys and I were drawn to it on our first morning on the beach.
You can see it in this picture I took of my boys on our first bike-ride to the water’s edge.
For the past three days it’s been there at the water’s edge…getting pounded by the waves, floating out just a little bit before another wave reminded it–powerfully–that it’s days floating in the open sea were no longer and it was destined to be shored for the rest of time.
My kids and I are fascinated with that old tree.
How did it get here? Where did it live before it fell into the sea? How long has it been trapped on the shore?
People keep taking pictures of that tree. They’re fascinated by it too.
The power of the ocean is fascinating.
The power of God is fascinating.
All my kids wanted to do–all day of every day at the beach–was play in the water. It was too cold for them to swim, but they didn’t really want to swim in the water. They just wanted to play in the sand at the water’s edge. They waves would crash on the shore and my kids would try to stay just ahead of the cold water as it raced up the beach. When the water caught them, they weren’t too disappointed.
To them it was a grand adventure. The power of the ocean was so exciting to them and they relished in the chance to get close to such power without consequence. Truth be told, it wasn’t without consequence.
Their encounter with the power of the ocean left them really wet, really tired, and really fulfilled.
Our encounters with God are not without consequence either.
When we get close to Him we are changed in significant and really fulfilling ways.
I’ll never forget my time on the Pacific shore.
I saw God like I’d never seen Him before.