Anglican Morning Devotion, 14 February 2022 Anno
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide (reprint from 2008 A.D.)
“Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?” (Jeremiah 5:22) “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” (Psalm 107:23-30)
Early this morning, while it was yet dark, my wife, Debbie, and I took a walk from the neat little cottage provided us by our son and daughter to the seaside of Carillon Beach. The beautiful white strand of beach was totally deserted except for the two of us, the soaring seagulls, and God Himself.
Looking out to sea, we could see greater distances than our eyes could comprehend. Amazing how our vision improves when we descend to the lowest parts of the earth which is the home of the restless sea. A storm was forming on the sea a great distance to the southwest, its structural definition clearly described by contrasts of darkness, lightning, and cloud. The thought occurred to me that there were perhaps fishermen and other travelers on the sea whose present circumstances were far different from mine as an observer on the beach. They wrestled with the relentless winds and rain to maintain their vessels on a straight course and, in the process of struggle, were growing stronger in body and mind than those of us who are simply observers.
The Good Lord has given us the Sea for our teacher, and for a comfort to our minds and spirits. How serene the sea appears in still photos, yet, even then, there is a mighty turmoil of life occurring beneath its tranquil surface. Tiny fish are being threatened and eaten by the larger, and the floor of the sea is being reformed by the constant pressure of the mighty waves that are hidden from sight. The Deep contains much life, but is also the abode of countless dead awaiting the clarion call of the Lord, “Arise, and come ye unto me all ye dead of the sea!” And as the cold and lifeless ears of Lazarus, those dead ears shall respond with a quickened life to the One who is their Maker, Redeemer and Judge. His Voice shall pierce the breakers and shoals of the Sea just as it did the solid granite stone walls of the Tomb of Lazarus at Bethany, penetrating the dead flesh and dead spirit and finding echo of life at the core of the lifeless one, long forgotten by all who knew him – all but the One who knew him best – the Almighty Lord of the Creation Morning4.
The Sea, itself, is in constant unrest. Its tide never surrenders in the attempt to break forth from its predestined boundaries set at the moment of the early Dawn of Creation. Walking on the beach where the tide rises and falls, we leave our tiny footprints that are almost immediately erased by the recurrent tide. We look back and cannot discern our tracks on the sand. Life is like those temporary imprints. “Were we ever here at all?” “Does anyone bear record of our once existence?” These are questions that may occur briefly to all, but to the soul that knows its Home, the questions are only fleeting breaches of faith. The soul, living or dead, that owns its claim in Christ knows with a certain and immovable faith that his soul will not be forgotten or left in the deep of hell. His life, and even his name, is forever engraved upon the palms of his Maker, and will not vanish forever from the Mind of God. His promise is emblazoned on our hearts by His strong Word: “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:16)
Isn’t it a comfort to know that Christ will never forsake us or leave us, living or dead? A Morning Pause by the Sea can be a strong reminder of that great Truth.