A reflection to inspire you to dive down deep into the waves of God’s justice and immerse yourself in the ocean of His mercy.
I sprinted across the warm golden beach and splashed into the cool ocean water. After a few steps, the sand dropped off and the waves leaped up. I tried to keep my head above water, but the breaking wave dragged me under, slammed me on the rocky bottom, and washed me, gasping, up on the shore.
I was a ten year old who didn’t know how to face the ocean.
With sand-caked hair dripping down my back, I slumped to the safety of our beach blanket. But my dad turned me around and sent me back toward the water, bellowing words of encouragement.
Don’t fight the wave. Dive down deep under it, as far as you can go. Immerse yourself in the water.
Don’t fight the wave. Dive down deep under it, as far as you can go. Immerse yourself in the water. Tweet this.
I ran in again, faced the looming wave, ignored the fear, and took the plunge.
As I sank down towards the sandy floor, the water gently swirled around me. I felt the wave rush over me, but I was safe from its destructive power. When the tugging passed and the calm lull returned, I sunk my feet into the sand, pushed hard, and surfaced safe on the other side of the wave.
Lord my God, I often wonder how Your justice and mercy can coexist. But I imagine them now as the fierce crashing waves and the calm rolling depths of the ocean. Both part of the same body, with no clear separating line.
Waves of Justice
The ocean is violent where the sea meets the sky.
The rough waves tumble and crash against the shore. At the surface of the ocean, I witness the power, the strength, the waves that beat upon the shore, wear away the land, and tumble mountains. Your justice, Lord, does the same to my sins and my pride.
In my pride, I fight You like I fought the waves at the ocean shore.
But like my naive 10 year old self, I find myself crashing down. A tussle with the ocean means certain destruction. My pride results in my fall, tumbled onto the shore, weary and defeated.
Even if I stood before You as firm in my sinfulness as rocky cliffs at the ocean’s edge, I can’t stand against You forever.
Just as the land rose from the sea and will be battered down to return to it someday, so too will my own self. I rose from Your providence, created through Your goodness and love, and I will return to You at the end of my life.
If I stand against You like the mountain at the edge of the ocean, my pride will be the means of my demise at the encounter with Your justice. You call for atonement for my sins.
But by the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, my Jesus, Your justice is appeased. I don’t need to end in ruin.
Depths of Mercy
I surrender my will to You. I surrender my faults, my sins, and my failings to Your saving grace.
I choose to dive down deep.
To immerse myself in Your depths.
To accept Your love and Your mercy.
Your grace and love encircle me, washing around me, gently wearing away at my faults. Tweet this.
Like I learned to do that day on the beach so many years ago, I allow myself to be drawn down beneath the turmoil of the waves.
Your grace and love encircle me, washing around me, gently wearing away at my faults until You shape me to Your heart’s desire and allow me to resurface, unhurt, on the other side.
Beneath the waves, the further down I let You draw me in, the less I need to fear. Your justice will no longer be a threat. Rather, it will be an opportunity to allow myself to formed and shaped by Your mercy.
As the grains of sand rest on the bottom of the ocean floor, so too do I rest in Your mercy. Your mercy is gentle and forgiving. It washes around me but doesn’t destroy.
Like the plants on the ocean floor, I sway with the movements of Your mercy. I submit myself to the currents of Your will, allowing myself to be drawn along the path You call me to in life.
I surrender my sins and imperfections to Your cleansing waters, to be gently washed away and lost to the depths forever.
A Prayer of Surrender
Oh Lord, show me the way to Your heart!
Break down the mountain of my pride. Let me abandon myself to You so that I may be engulfed, immersed, molded and changed into the person You desire me to be.
I enter the ocean facing the strength and power of the waves of Your justice. But I don’t want to fight You any longer. I want to dive down deep into Your mercy.
I surrender myself to You today.
Immerse me, Lord, in the ocean of Your mercy.
I enter the ocean facing the waves of Your justice but I want to dive down deep into Your mercy. Amen. Tweet this.
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