I'm writing from beautiful St. Simons, GA while Anita and I, with all our unmarried boys, are enjoying a little vacation time! So far, we've had all the right ingredients - good weather, good food, reading, resting, some more good food, nice walks, beach time, etc. I think I made my first trip here in 1979 soon after Anita and I started dating. It's fun looking through the many photo albums here that include pictures of all our kids who've made this trek with us over the years. Kids sure do grow up in a hurry ... but, of course, Anita and I look almost exactly like we did back then ;). Anita's sister, Cindy, who lives here, is a most gracious host and we appreciate the opportunity to invade her home.
You can find research that shows being near the ocean has therapeutic and health benefits. It supposedly helps us relax, relieves stress, breath fresh air, inspires creative brain activity, even helps our sleep patterns. I remember reading one such report in the past that says the ocean invokes feelings of awe and that we're connected to something greater than ourselves, and as a result it moves us from a "me" orientation to a "we" orientation. Wow ... shocking isn't it!!! Consider these selected verses from God's Word.
· Isaiah 40:12 - Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
· Isaiah 40:15 - Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
· Isaiah 40:28 - Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
· Psalm 33:6-9 - By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
· Psalm 89:5-9 - Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you? You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
· Psalm 95:3-6 - For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Fascinating that scientific research is catching up with what God has revealed about Himself in His Word. The beauty, majesty, power, and expanse of God's creation actually inspires a sense of awe in us that helps us realize we're a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Our problem is we sometimes forget what that "something bigger" really is. It's not a movement, agenda, trend, cause, program, or crusade but rather the Kingdom of an eternal and infinite King who has brought us close to Himself through the person and work of His Son Jesus Christ. And while sitting on the shore or pier and looking out over the ocean is never a substitute for meeting our King in the corporate service of worship He has prescribed for us, it is very nice to catch a glimpse of His greatness while here at St. Simons. I'm grateful for this time of rest and look forward to being back in worship with my church family this Sunday!