Ebb & Flow
August 2014 I went to California on a business trip. It was my first time visiting the west coast. Somehow my co-worker and I lucked out and found rooms at this AMAZING resort on the ocean, called Terrena Resort. (All the ocean photos on this website are from that trip).
I have an infatuation with sunrises and sunsets. One day I got up early so I could watch the sun rise over the ocean. I walked along the shore on a trail that led me to the top of a hill. As I looked down at the ocean, I was literally standing on the edge of the earth. It was breathtaking. I stood there and watched the sun rise over the mountain ahead of me. The sun was massive. I’ve never seen it like that. It was so huge it was almost as if I were standing right in front of it.
As it crept up over the ocean and the mountains, the sky began to turn pink, purple, blue and orange. With every passing minute, as it rose higher over the mountain, the earth began to grow brighter and the sky changed with the sun’s movement. The sky reflected off the ocean, illuminating the colors even more. I was in complete awe. Tears rolled down my face at its beauty. I will never forget that moment. There are no words in the dictionary to describe God’s work that morning. He orchestrated that sunrise, just as he orchestrates the sun going down. Every. Single. Day.
Interestingly enough the tides of the ocean are dictated by the earth, moon and sun, called ebb and flow. According to Wikipedia, the Ebb is the outgoing phase when the tide drains away from the shore and the flow is the incoming phase when the water rises again. Another definition of ebb and flow is the recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and re-growth.
As I researched ebb and flow and the movement of the earth and it’s gravitational pull, the latter definition of “decline and re-growth” brought me back to the sunrise. The tides of the ocean are just like the seasons of our life. Every day as the sun comes up we have another opportunity to of “re-growth”.
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time and a season for everything. If God conducts the ebb and flow of the ocean, the rise and descent of the sun, how much more do you think he will conduct the life of his children in the same way? When we are in a season of “decline”, we know that “re-growth” comes next. We can rejoice in this. And likewise when we are in a season of “re-growth” we have to take that time to gird up our loins (prepare and strengthen ourselves for what is to come).
1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
The King James Version says “wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…". Just as he has set the sun and the moon in place to cause the ocean to move in such a way, God also allows us to experience periods of decline in order to grow.
As I continued my research on the ebb and flow, I found that the moon is actually the one causing the tides. According to spaceanswers.com (yes, I am that much of a nerd), without the moon, the ocean would become much calmer and largely serene. Isn’t that how we want our life? Calm and Serene! Why can’t it be like that? But it goes on to say, if the moon didn’t exist it would have a dire effect on the life on Earth. God did that! He made the sun but he also made the moon because he knew what the earth needed. The very thing that causes the oceans to roar and causes the rise and decline of the water, God put it there; and without it there would be dire consequences.
The website goes on to say that if the moon were not in place “the churning of the oceans, and thus the circulation of nutrients, ceases. Water-based life struggles to survive and, eventually, thousands (and probably millions) of species go extinct.” It also says that the moon protects us! Do you know why the moon has craters? They are massive holes caused by the moon being pounded by space rock. If the moon wasn’t there, the earth would be more vulnerable to being hit by such debris.
So this very thing that causes disruption is used as protection. The things that cause our lives to roar have a purpose. Sometimes we don’t understand why we are going through disruptive seasons or why our life feels so up and down at times. In the ebb and flow of life we have to trust what God is doing. He is the orchestrator of our lives. He is protecting us from something that may hurt us and we don’t even see it. He is giving us life in a time of disruption, even when we feel like it’s going to kill us. But remember, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). So stop worrying and go with the flow.
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace.
Enjoy the journey