the ocean of love and stuff.

IMG_4278I've just finished a few days with some great friends at the Atlantic ocean (outer banks, North Carolina). It's been a breath of fresh air (quite literally). There is something about the ocean that awakens me to the presence of God. I've always resonated with the image of God's love as an ocean - I've tattooed the song about a boundless salvation ocean on my wrist - I've tried to live out of the revelation of the love of God. And I never tire from meditating on that love through rhythm of the sound, the taste of the salt, the spray of the waves, the crashing on the shore... the depths unexplored, the wild invitation, and all sorts of other things the ocean invites us to consider. This trip I went to the beach daily with my sons. They were discovering all kinds of treasures on the shore. It got me to thinking once more about the ocean. See, even what the ocean discards is treasure. My sons spent hours looking through the shells, seaweed, jellyfish, fish bones and other remnants of the ocean spilt over and spit up through the tide the night before. they found bucket-fulls of the stuff. And it got me to thinking about the treasure of the ocean itself. The vast amounts of beauty, the seasoned and worn down shells that seem to become even more attractive as they give to the rhythm of the sands refining. All of these things that are simply left-over and unneeded are still treasures to those of us who stand at the shore and care to take a look. That's how amazing the ocean is.

It is the same of course with God's love. Even the left-overs - the unnecessary parts are treasures. Even the bits we wonder what purpose they have, what good they could possible be - the character flaws that seem to plague us, even those, if we allow the ocean of love to refine us, will turn shiny and useful - a treasure for anyone who cares to come have a look at God's amazing ability to love us to beauty.

That's the thing about the ocean of love. It's wild unexplored depths call to me, it's tenacious, unending lapping at the shore of my life loosens my tendency to keep control, it's salty spray softens my tired and weary soul, it's beauty reminds me of the depth of God's beauty in me still. So, I'm grateful for the reminder - for the awakening, for the time spent with a loving God who calls us to breathe deep of His love. I pray you'll experience anew that same revelation, however it comes... you are the treasure in God's ocean of love.