Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life's [Not] a Beach.

This past week, I went on vacation with my friend and her family. We stayed in a beachfront condo on the tip of Florida, and I spent the majority of the time getting some much-needed rest.

On Friday morning, I slipped outside to the balcony, sat on a table, and gazed out at the ocean from my fourth-floor perch. Drank deep from the salted air. Said hello to God, then began to sing to Him. While I sang, He brought the dolphins out so I could watch them play, and it made me smile. Their tiny dorsal fins, dwarfed by distance, splitting the waves as they swam parallel to the beach. As soon as one pod of dolphins disappeared, another quickly took its place. I even saw a couple flukes, their tails arching above the water only an instant before the ocean swallowed them up. Then seabirds appeared in the gray sky, diving straight down into the waves to pick up a bit of breakfast.

I observed all these things in a cloud of happiness and peace and awe. I felt like God was sitting right beside me, grinning, as He unveiled just a glimpse of His masterpiece before my wondering eyes. And I thought--maybe I even said it aloud--no matter what happens when this week is over, You will still be the same incredible God that You are in this moment.

Well, the week is over. And as my car ate up the few hundred miles separating me from "real life," I became angrier and angrier. The anger bubbled up without purpose or direction, and even while a detached portion of my brain tried to figure out where it came from, I felt the rest of my being tensing up in response to my raging emotions.

Isn't it ridiculous, how quickly the stress comes roaring back? I didn't even have the chance to set foot in my dorm before the Enemy took the opportunity to remind me that, despite what those cute little souvenirs will try to trick you into believing, life is not a beach.

Thankfully, Satan's not the only one to give us reminders. And right now, God's reminder to me is a memory from just a few days ago, when the two of us sat together on the balcony and watched the world unfold as it was made to, with color and beauty and light--just like my own unfolding life. It is a reminder that whispers, with the gentle repetition of waves against a shore: everything will be okay.

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