Last July I found myself on our first family vacation in five years. I could not sleep, but that was nothing new. I desperately needed to be staring at the back of my eye-lids but I could not seem to shake something that crossed my mind while at the beach the day before. The ocean is wonderful, mysterious, gorgeous, and some what terrifying. It is not tame or predictable. It can not be contained or strong armed. It does as it sees fit. It is chaos. But it is nothing less than breath-takingly chaotic. The waves dance across the horizon much farther than our eyes can even see and there is this pull about them. It is almost a beckoning into the unknown. Deep calling out to deep. A boundless, infinite, surging, violent, song that reverberates through our bones. Those waves gripped at my feet and I could not help but think of grace. I have started to learn to see it in places and things where I never thought I would find it, little pieces of treasure hidden in the most seemingly insignificant of fields. Maybe I am finding it more and more because I realize I need it more and more. Honestly I think I need it more than I can ever begin to understand. Grace pulls at our hearts. It calls out to us from the deep, "Fear Not!". It speaks peace in the middle of all the mess and says "Come deeper!"
These last couple of years have been chaos.
Yet there I was on the shore feeling the waves tug at my ankles and all I could feel was peace. I obeyed the call of the sea and went deeper until the waves were beating at my chest and then I knelt down a little and let them swallow me. As this whole episode took place I kept thinking of Paul's words in his epistle to the Colossians "buried with him in baptism." Of course I have already been baptized before but this felt like a re-baptism of sorts to me. I suppose that day, still much like today, I needed a reminder of where my life is and who I belong to. Sometimes we need to allow the pull of grace to beckon our hearts into the deep water to remind us that at the end of the day He has us even in the midst of chaos. On the surface nothing much has changed in regard to the things I was wrestling with that day on the beach. Honestly, the next couple of months held what felt like hardship after hardship for our family but today, like that day with waves crashing over my head, I have peace.
Today I have peace. I am a wreck, nothing is really going the way I would like, I am still not sleeping, and the last eight months have been some of the hardest in my life but I have peace. I can not really explain it. But I suppose this is what Jesus was getting at when he said He gives peace not as the world gives.
Let the waves overtake you. There is grace waiting for you in the chaos.