When You Find Yourself in Deep Waters

We drive to the beach to let our children see the ocean. Watching the sea creates that moment of awe I want them to experience; that sublime encounter when nature overpowers their imagination ushers in worship and joy.

Behold the great ocean! 

We splash in the waves, dig in the sand, and collect shells. My oldest daughter and I venture out past the breakers into deep waters. Could there be sharks? Well, yes. Could there be jellyfish? Well, yes. Will giant waves crash against me? Well, yes.

In the midst of all the questions and real fears, we look down towards our feet and notice the sparkle of unbroken seashells scattered on the ocean floor. Here, they don’t endure the assault of the waves. Here, they stay intact and beautiful. 

My daughter runs to get a bucket and comes back out into the ocean. She picks up seashells–with her feet–and builds a collection of treasures from the deep. 

When I find myself in deep waters–amid real fears and assaults–I remember to build my collection of treasures from the deep. Certain gifts can only come from this deep and dangerous place. 

Have you read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea? I haven’t read this for 20 years, so I’m going back to the library to find it. Has the ocean taught you anything in particular? 

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  1. We're headed to the shore tomorrow, so I've been longing for the ocean.  Yes, I have learned from the ocean, if you permit me to share:


  2. Yes!  Keep sharing!  I love your post. I love the moments of just you without the family because it reminds me of those rare moments when I'm finally alone, too! 

  3. My fear of sharks sends chills up my spine as I sit in my land-locked home town and contemplate a trip to the beach.  This fear grew exponentially when I had children and one of my young mother decisions was whether to let my kids in the ocean of not for fear something from the deep would attack them.  But no matter how much of a lather I would work myself into about sharks, once we arrived at the beach, I could NEVER  and have never denied my sons the experience of finding the power of God in the sea.  The majesty, the beauty, the full body and full sensory connection with nature and the Creator overwhelm any concerns about predators.  We can't resist the allure of all that power and must become one with it.  So we dive in and return home renewed.