Our Father Watches Over Us
In April, our family took a vacation to Florida to visit my husband’s side of our family. Our oldest daughter Alyssa organized the trip and did such an outstanding job, that if she didn’t want to be a nurse, she could definitely be a travel agent.
Monday on the agenda was beach day and we drove an hour to feel some sand between our toes before hitting Disney World in the evening.
We had 4 little ones with us on this trip. Amiyah(7), Juliana(5) our granddaughters and my parents 2 youngest, Maddie(7) & Ella(5). This was the first time they saw the ocean and it was love at first sight for all of them. They screamed and giggled every time the water came rushing toward the shore. They jumped trying to clear the waves only to be splashed with salt water. They loved everything about it.
As I was standing in ankle-deep water not very far from them, I watched them playing in the Atlantic Ocean through my camera lens as I captured the memories in pictures and videos. That’s when I noticed an elderly man standing behind me, hovering over my shoulder. I could see him out of the corner of my eye and I could feel his presence. His wife was standing on the sand watching us.
Feeling uneasy with how close he was to me, I started to call the girls’ names telling them to come to me. Then he spoke. You need to keep them close to you. The riptide will take them to places you don’t want them to go and you won’t be able to get to them.
I turned and thanked him and instantly had the girls come to me and I explained the danger of going out to far from the shore.
That Friday I flew to Pennsylvania to speak at the Winsome Retreat and God brought our ocean day to mind as the worship leader Missy sang the song Oceans.
Sometimes the waves of life are smooth and life is good. We’re laughing and splashing around enjoying life and we don’t pay attention to the direction we’re taking. We become relaxed in the choices we make and suddenly, we find ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. A place where the water isn’t smooth and the waves crash into us and knock us down and we feel like we’re drowning in regret and shame.
Just like the man on the beach was doing to me, we have a Heavenly Father hovering over us ready to keep us safe. Ready for us to feel His presence. Ready to give us direction to help us live a life with no regrets.
That day on the beach the man didn’t care about invading my personal space. His focus was on how to protect the girls and keep them safe. He could tell I was a tourist unfamiliar with the dangerous power of the ocean that could change the girls’ course in a heartbeat. He shared his knowledge with me and warned me so I could leave the beach with no regrets.
God sends messages to us through the Holy Spirit, the Bible, pastors, friends and spouses to tell us which direction to go. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable like I did at first, but God is not concerned with our comfort. He’s concerned with the paths we take because He knows what is best for us.
It would’ve been easy for me to dismiss the man’s advice, but I didn’t take the chance. We need to listen to God’s direction and not try to do this thing called life on our own. His guidance is never to hurt us, but to protect us from things we can’t handle, to keep us safe from unseen dangers. To keep us from getting whisked away into the ocean of regret.
From the song “Oceans”…
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
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