Monday, November 29, 2010

Shifting Sand

I love my early morning, hour long walk on the beach. I go whatever the weather (except in heavy rain) and I think the times I like best are when the sky is grey and overcast and the sea is rough.

Normally I walk on firm sand, but this morning, the tide was very high and I had to walk on the soft sand.

It was hard going.

Every so often I would hit a firmer patch and I could stride out again, only to suddenly put my foot down into a soft patch of sand and it was back to plodding and struggling along. I only had a narrow strip of sand to walk on, and tree branches, that had been washed up by the sea, to step over. High sand dunes on one side of me and the crashing waves on the other.

And as I plodded along I got to thinking about life.

We all have a road to walk - sometimes it is littered with obstacles (like the tree branches), sometimes we feel like we are sinking (like walking on soft, shifting sand) and then at other times we are able to walk unhindered and enjoy the journey (the firm sand).

I thought about the narrow strip of sand I had to walk on (the narrow road?), and those things and situations that come alongside us on our walk - the crashing sea (those difficult people perhaps?), and the high sandhills (problems looming?) and we feel we are getting squeezed in on all sides.

Sometimes the walk gets too hard and I think I'll turn back. Then I look out to sea, and on the horizon see a gap in the grey clouds, and the silver rays of sunlight beaming through onto the grey sea. My feet hit some firm sand, the sandhills are opening out to grass areas, and the tide is going out.

So I keep walking, thinking, I'll never take that firm sand I usually walk on for granted again. I get to my turning point and head back along the beach (by this time the tide has receeded enough that I can walk the whole way on firm sand). I look up and see big patches of blue sky, the sun streaming down, and the sea sparkling and dancing in the sunlight.

Life gets hard sometimes. We feel like giving up the struggle...turning back. It all just gets too hard.

But God is there with us. He gives us the firm sand and the rays of sunshine. Do you see them? Or are you focused on the obstacles?

God and His Word is our firm foundation (2 Timothy 2:19), underneath our soft, shifting sand (Matthew 7:26). He will not let our foot slip (Psalm 121:3). And underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).

(Lynda Helen Kay 2010)

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