Beachfront Realty and Everyday Reality

The wonderful thing about this picture is that I was actually there in person to take it! Sarah, Caleb, and I were able to go visit her parents, Paul and Susan Van Loh, last October in Curitiba, Brazil for 2 weeks. Sarah grew up on the mission field of Brazil–her parents are such a blessing and testimony to us of faithfulness to God’s leading and direction.

We spent the first week in Brazil down at a beach several hours away. Sarah took many trips to this beach when she was growing up and it was fun to get to imagine her running on the beach as a little girl collecting seashells. We were able to spend a week there–our hotel room was only about 20 feet from this boardwalk–it was a peaceful, warm, and completely care-free opportunity to sit back and enjoy. I enjoyed getting to sit in my beach chair, open up the beach umbrella, and hear the waves roll in as the birds overhead flew by with their beautiful colors shining in the light of the warm sunshine. The setting couldn’t have been more perfect…

It would be great if this picture could symbolize our daily lives. However, when it comes to our day-to-day lives, everyday reality rarely seems to mirror this setting. Many times our lives can feel like we are trying to navigate a thin-walled row boat with its cheap outboard motor through a thundering storm on a churning sea that is rarely calm and placid.The reality of life, though, is that no matter how crazy life gets, or how confusing, disappointing, or bizarre our circumstances may become, if God, His Spirit, and His grace are navigating the rudder of our soul, then we are in the safest place in the world.

Far better to be in the midst of a raging sea of reality with God at the helm of our lives than enjoying the warm breezes of a beachfront setting without God’s Fatherly presence or guidance.

This next picture has always been a favorite of mine.For me it symbolizes my Christian walk very well. Everyday reality is crazy at times but the truth of God’s redemptive gospel and amazing securing power is the refuge that grips me tightly, protects me from the terror and danger of the waves, and helps me to stand firm in His grace. I may still feel the dampness, taste the salty mist, and hear the thunderous roar as the waves crash into my Refuge–but the reality is that the only drops or splashes of water that land on my face are those that my God and Creator have allowed for the betterment of my spiritual walk of faith in His Holy Spirit’s leading. So, whether I am being led through some rough storms, or perhaps being led in and through some calm waters, Jesus’ voice still rings clearly through them all, “Peace, be still!” Because of God’s indwelling presence and enabling power, I can still be enjoying a sweet afternoon on some lovely Brazilian beachfront realty–even if everyday reality seems more like a churning ocean–I am confident that God’s grace is that Refuge that will encompass my soul through all challenges for eternity.

By the way, I can’t wait to get back to that Brazilian beachfront sometime…it’s still winter here in Lancaster, PA…

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