Have you ever watched the waves rolls in to shore and been mesmerized by the rhythmic swell and crash? Have you seen the way they slowly pull back from the shore, gathering in a mass, then tumbled in frothy praise to the sand?
I love that.
I love the sound of the water as it tumbles and rolls. It’s praise. And I feel like many times, my praises echo those of the sea. There is a welling up of my soul and it gathers with momentum, then peaks and crashes forward, spilling praise at the feet of the throne.
Sometimes the wave of praise is large – a culmination of fear, heartache, struggle or simply gratitude. It’s a tidal wave of praise that builds up slowly and spills over with force.
Sometimes the waves of praise are smaller, but they are consistent. An ever present gathering and rolling of white tipped praise that cannot be quelched or contained.
Sometimes, though, there is no praise. I am still. Like the ocean on a clear, calm morning, I sit stagnant. At times this stillness is a good thing. I am listening. I’m waiting for the whispers. And if I listen for long enough, I usually end up bursting forth with that tidal wave of praise again.
But, unfortunately, many times the stillness is a result of not listening. It’s a result of stepping away, checking out or simply being lazy. I might send forth a ripple here and there, but the waves of praise stall. This is how the ocean begins to dry up.
I don’t like this place.
Several years ago, as I was in a place of frustration, I penned a short phrase that has stayed with me since.
Used have brilliant words to sing
Now I drift like the wave
I crash to the shore
Then I quickly pull away
I miss sitting at Your Feet
Listening to your tender words so sweet
How I long to surrender
To Thee, Precious Lord
I long for Your presence in me.
I wrote those words in a journal late one night, while the rest of the world slept and my mind churned like the unsettled ocean. It was a time when I felt distant from the Lord. A time when I felt like the stagnant sea. In a burst of emotion I would offer up my praise, then, as quickly as the wave began, it pulled away and the ocean of my soul grew stagnant again.
Lately, these words have been spinning in me again – but in the right way this time. It’s a good place to be. I kind of like this contemplative state of mind. It helps me sit still and wait and, ultimately, the waves of praise will bubble forth yet again.
We’re in a blessed place as a family. But…Sometimes a good place gives way to complacency. I’m fighting it. Really, really fighting it. Because now I have the opportunity to spill forth with grateful praise. I don’t want to miss that opportunity! I don’t want to be content stagnant. And so I stop, and I think.
Shaun Groves wrote about this yesterday. It spoke right to my heart, confirming the emotions already stirring. I love the written word – especially when paired with a beautiful melody.
These are the things on my heart today.
And, obviously, I’ve got the beach on the brain…