Oh, I know, God is everywhere, but the time I feel him the most is when I’m at the ocean. The beach is my big, messy prayer closet.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in a coastal town, but the ocean is probably where most of my deepest emotions were felt. I had some of my best times at the beach; I cried over losses at the beach; I contemplated important decisions at the beach; heck, I even got pregnant at the beach!
So now, visiting the ocean is an absolute must every few weeks – it’s like a breath of air when I feel suffocated by life, or a drink of water at my thirstiest. And, without a doubt, it’s where I feel God’s presence at its strongest. God’s character seems embedded in the power, the depth, the provision, and beauty.
This visit, as I waded into the water and felt the familiar chill on my toes and ankles, I asked God why cancer had to happen to me, but didn’t get an answer…yet. I asked God to let the chemo kill all the cancer so it doesn’t come back. And I asked God if I could live long enough to be a great-grandmother (or Grand-Tutu, as I’ll probably prefer to be called), and I guess we’ll see. Though I don’t always get clear, unambiguous answers, just being at the ocean tells me God loves me and cares so deeply for me. And most of the time, that’s what I need to know.
The ocean covers over half the world, and really, it doesn’t seem that necessary for survival. We need fresh springs and rivers for drinking, watering crops, and as a bonus, fish. But truly, why did God create the ocean except for our enjoyment? The magnificence of the crashing waves, the wonder of enormous whales, the joy of snorkeling and surfing, the relaxing sounds of the surf – all of it simply for our pleasure.
Yes, I know, there are many more purposes for the ocean if you get all scientific about it, but when I visit the ocean, it feels like God made it just for me. And I’m simply in awe.
This weekend’s trip gave me my deepest breaths and sweetest tears since this fight with cancer began, for which I’m so thankful.