It's 4 a.m. and I am wide awake. My alarm certainly didn't go off, and I didn't get to bed till 1:30 a.m.. I lay in bed for a half hour hoping to fall asleep. My day is full--I know I need rest, but it makes no difference. So I get up and go to my desk to get some work done for the day.
It's now after 5 a.m. and yoga seems like a good idea. If I can't sleep, I might as well relax and stretch out my body from the craziness of the week. It's only 5:30 now. What to do?
I get a sudden urge to go down to the beach, so I peer out my window and see a quiet sky lit only by stars. The urge is so strong I don’t question, just change my clothes and grab my phone.
No one in the elevator, no one in the lobby, not even in the gym I pass by. I get to the stairs that lead down to the ocean. I stop and wonder, What am I doing? It's 5:45 in the morning--not a soul out, it's pitch black, and here I am going down to the beach by myself.
What if there are scary men down there? I feel a quiet check in my spirit saying what I’m doing is right, so I proceed down stairs I can barely see.
It is beautiful and creepy stepping into the sand. Not a person in sight, the little I can see is directly in front of me. The stars in the sky envelop me and the sound of the waves crash around me. I stumble upon some chairs near the stairs, so I decide to sit in what seems like a safe place.
I look up admiring the stars and the moon, thanking God for the beauty he has put on display for us. I close my eyes and breathe in the fresh salt air, thankful that God has worked healing into nature for mind, body and soul.
I open my eyes. There is a dark moving object on the shoreline. With each wave crashing, it takes new shape. Is this an animal coming out of the ocean? Will it harm me? Will it kill me? Should I be afraid? Realizing I shouldn't have watched those videos of killer whales surfacing on the shore to kill their prey then return to the water, I begin to feel fear release from my body. At a tender rebuke from my Creator, I close my eyes, focus and meditate on God, and breathe calmly again … even though I occasionally open my eyes to confirm there is no killer whale coming out of the ocean to harm me.
I wonder: of what else am I afraid?
What if a man is going to walk up towards me, realize I am alone and harm me?
What if the company I so love working for has to close their doors and I am out of a job?
What if the house I am in now sells before I can find something else? Will I even be able to find a place I can afford?
Will I ever meet a Christian man I want to marry?
The waves continue to crash around me, but calm has come. God is replacing fear with truth.
The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?
Fear and trust don't work together. I will focus on what I can't quite see, or what I can't see at all. Gazing up at the stars and the moon that is taking on more light from the rising sun, I choose to trust.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
Read Psalm 27 and Luke 12:22-43.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze up on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27: 4).
David had reason to doubt and fear. Evil was planted at his door, but he made the choice to live in trust, not fear: to seek, dwell, gaze and seek some more.
What are the things that breed fear in your life?
How can you actively shift your gaze from the things you fear to God who is good, strong and our salvation?
What does it mean to seek, dwell, gaze and seek some more?