STAYING CONNECTED IN A TIME OF ISOLATION, Day 71

Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Each day our Pastor will post a message to keep us connected while the Church is closed.

Day 71, May 23, 2020
“An Ocean Devotion”

Memorial Day weekend is a big deal in a beach community. The crowds descend for that first taste of summer, sticking their toes in the sand, basking in the sun, chasing the waves, that tentative testing of the water’s temperature, and long walks by the crashing surf. For those who are able to make their way to the water this weekend I hope you will take time to notice some of the fun signs people have put on their houses, the names on beach cottages that signify a treasured memory or capture the hopes and dreams of long and lazy days by the water.

Some names focus on the feeling of relief upon finally arriving after a long trip…names like At Last or About Time

There is a Sunset Hill…a Toad Hill…a Treasure Hill…a Beach Rose and a Lily Pad

One home has a clever play on words…D’aige A View

A stunning home that sits on the hills above the Atlantic is named Tide Point…which afforded the family a chance to celebrate the marriage of their daughter when the home was renamed Bride Point for the wedding weekend. That was nice.

One home has a clever play on words…D’aige A View

The awesome power of the ocean bursts through names like Spellbound…Crash Pad…and Saltbox by the Sea.

One lucky Rhode Islander was able to secure a great name for a beach house in the Ocean State…Rhode House.

Then there is one with a name that is a clever play on words…D’aige A View…hmmm, somehow, I have a feeling we’ve been here before

This past Sunday we took a long walk down Atlantic Avenue. As we looked at the many houses facing the water, we took time to note their names. We wondered how they decided on the particular name they chose. Then we saw one that had the most wonderful name. It is a name that fits perfectly with, “An Ocean Devotion”, which is the title of my little devotional this Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend. The home is named Devocean. I love it. I wish I had thought of that, but at the same time I am glad somebody thought of that…Devocean.

How many of us have had a Devoceanal experience when we come to the beach? I see cars every morning parked at Spray Rock, mesmerized by the crash of the waves and the namesake spray of the ocean waters. Some scamper down to the tidepools in search of crabs or other marine life, wrapped up in the wonders of that fascinating world Under the Sea. And people walk on the beach…families walk together…couples walk hand in hand…young and old…in swimsuits or bundled up in sweatshirts…the sand in a beach town is covered in the footprints of people who come to the waters for a devoceanal experience. And it never disappoints. The ocean never disappoints.

When I saw that house named Devocean, my mind went instantly to my favorite Beach Devotion…to a devotion that has become part and parcel with my faith in God. I am not alone in my love for this particular Devoceanal. Through my forty years in pastoral ministry I have heard time and time again how this one particular Beach Devoceanal has provided just the right message at just the right time to help countless people keep going on their journey of faith.

This beautiful Beach Devoceanal concerns a walk on the beach, but it is not a family walk…and it is not the walk of a couple, whether they be in the first stages of romantic love or whether they be ones who have experienced a love that has lasted through the years. No, the walk is not the walk of families, of friends, or lovers. The walk is a walk shared by two people, but for all the watching world it looks like just a single, solitary individual making the journey. The only way we know two people are making the journey down the sandy beach is to look at the sand…in the sand there are two sets of footprints.

By now I am guessing you know exactly which Beach Devoceanal is my favorite. I do not apologize for sharing this Devoceanal, even though it has been shared over and over and over again. I share it with you today because I remember a day when I was a teenager. Someone read to me a poem about footprints. I was at a point in my life when I was feeling so lost. I was at a point in my life when the depths of my discouragement seemed to have no bottom. I was at a point in my life when I was feeling helpless and hopeless. I was at a point in my life when I was feeling alone. And this one particular Beach Devoceanal spoke to me in a way that lifted my spirit, warmed my heart, filled the emptiness with a sense of hope, and gave me just the word of encouragement to keep going…to take another step…to make another footprint in the sand. This Beach Devoceanal helped me to realize I was not alone. I hope this Beach Devoceanal will be as helpful to you as it has been to me.

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. When the last scene of his life flashed before him he noticed that many times there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it was at the very lowest times in his life. He questioned the LORD about it. “LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that at the lowest times of my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.” The LORD replied, “My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

With the love of Christ,
Wayne