A Gentle Breeze, A Warm Embrace

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Lately I’ve been feeling very alone. Once in a while lonely, but mostly alone. There’s a difference. Perhaps in my next blog post I’ll go into the reasons why, which include a feverish travel schedule, some hefty financial decisions, and my venture into single motherhood, among other things. For now, I’m just feeling it. And I have to admit, for this go-getter who can usually handle life with general ease, I’m overwhelmed.

So you can imagine my sheer relief when this week my calendar dinged with a reminder I’d set months ago: Ruth on Vacation.

Deep breath.

Long stretch.

Thank you, Jesus.

I’m blogging this morning while sipping a cappuccino and staring out at the beautiful ocean in Cancun, Mexico. It’s a stark contrast to the last few weeks months of my life. Yet, even in paradise, that feeling of being alone didn’t just flutter away like the graceful pelicans I’m watching fly low above the waves. I still feel it.

As a believer, I know I’m not alone. I know it in my head. I know it from the Word. I know it from Sunday School. But God’s invisibility cloak makes it difficult to feel sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time. I find myself longing for a sign—a burning bush, a mighty wind, a rumbling earthquake.

Or, hey, how about just a hug?

The thought of that gives me chills. Oh, to feel God’s arms wrap around my body, hold me close like a little child, let me fall apart.

But I don’t feel it.

Such a whiny, human response, I know. I’m annoyed at how I sound saying it. I long for a faith that sees beyond the visible, feels beyond the tangible. It’s just hard sometimes, and I’m left feeling alone.

I’ve read a few books on this trip. The best one is the one I haven’t been able to finish. I only made it to page 25 so far, closing it after I noticed several fellow vacationers staring and whispering as I wiped tears from my face at the breakfast table. Pull it together, Ruth.

Listen to the words of Jennifer Rothschild in Fingerprints of God:

Have you stood before a magnificent ocean, feeling its majestic power and misty thunder as it slaps the shoreline and drags the sand into its lair?

I have. And when I do, I feel very small.

The largeness of the ocean envelops my sense of frame. I feel vulnerable as a twig, as ungrounded as a feather, as diminutive as a dust particle, floating and landing without notice, without effect . . .

We should consider the grandeur that surrounds us and contemplate our own size within its scheme. Depressing, you say? Overwhelming? Not at all. In fact, the more we consider God’s greatness and our smallness, the more we will marvel at the great value He has placed on our lives. Small, frail, earthbound, and fallen though we are, those who belong to Jesus Christ are greatly valued through all of time, and time beyond time. Not even a sparrow falls that our heavenly Father doesn’t see. You and I are far more valuable than that tiny sparrow. God’s signature of creation was written on the very heart and frame of man. We really are His workmanship.

This morning I woke up early to watch the sunrise, one of my favorite things to do on vacation. Waves lapped against my legs, my toes dug into the sand. And I, like Jennifer, felt small. The ocean stretched for miles in either direction and so, so far out in front of me.

I felt like David, who said in Psalm 8:3-4:

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

And then Jennifer’s words had me tearing up again:

The more we consider God’s greatness and our smallness, the more we will marvel at the great value He has placed on our lives.

So I watched the sunrise from the edge of the ocean, so vast and unknown. I let the warm breeze refresh my spirit. I watched the pink rays reflect off the water, dancing like a thousand sparkly Tinker Bells. I listened as the sound of the waves wrapped around me, the rhythmic echoes hugging my body and holding me close.

I let God find me.

And He did.

Not in the fire, the wind, or the earthquake. But in the gentle breeze, the colors of a sunrise, and the sound of the waves.

Let God find you today.

We are never alone.

~Ruth

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