At 9:58pm on a school night I heard God calling me to the beach- the beach that was an hour away, when I had little gas and money and no one to travel with. I was ready to say no; the whole thing sounded insane. There were so many reasons for me to be legitimately terrified and against the idea.
But God was relentless, and I felt like I would regret saying “no” if I did.
So I went. Without another thought I grabbed my keys, hit the lights, and was out of there. Before I knew it I was barreling down 408 with my windows down and my music blasting through the speakers. With every passing mile I felt more and more open to spending quality time with God. Every trickle of fear went out the window and into the night. When I got to the beach and heard the crashing of the waves, I knew I’d done the right thing.
I was overwhelmed by God’s presence.
Prior to this moment I’d spent so much time being frustrated and terrified about my future and my inability to make things happen.
This moment alone with the Father was the blessing I didn’t know I needed.
I cried, and as I sat on the sand and looked up at the vibrant stars, I thanked Him for every blessing I could think of.
I watched the tide rise and fall and thought about how often I let beautiful moments like this pass me by out of fear.
Whether it’s something small- like chatting with a neighbor- or something like this, God puts these calls on our hearts for a reason. It’s His way of saying, “I have something for you. Do you trust me?”
In the moment we tend to tell ourselves every possible reason why we shouldn’t do that thing our hearts yearn to do. The more we dwell on the negatives, the more we convince ourselves that the call wasn’t from God. It’s a deceptive rabbit hole. I think about all the times I’ve ignored those tiny prompts from the Father and how that moment, when I was too afraid, could’ve radically changed someone’s life.
God is an awesome God. If His plan is to radically touch that person’s life, He’ll do it with or without me. The problem is, when He trusts me with those opportunities and I’m too afraid (or sometimes too superior) to carry them through, I’m basically telling God, “No thanks.” Then I’m asking Him to pour blessings over my life and I wonder why He’s not coming through. I’m praying that prayer to death, “Just do this one thing and I’ll be faithful!” and then not carrying out my part of the bargain.
It brings to mind this verse from Jeremiah: “Why don’t you honor me? Why aren’t you in awe before me? Yes, me, who made the shorelines to contain the ocean waters. I drew a line in the sand that cannot be crossed. Waves roll in but cannot get through; breakers crash but that’s the end of them.” (Jeremiah 5:22, MSG)
Sometimes God’s call is for us to do something radical we wouldn’t normally do on our own, and sometimes He just wants to give us those, “Be still,” moments.
That’s what this beach trip was for me. On the cusp of graduating from college, I’d been so caught up in my endless efforts to figure out my future on my own that I forgot to just be still and let God do His thing.
He already promised He has a plan for me and I already told Him I was committed to it, so why was I so stressed?
I felt so small staring up at that speckled sky that night at the beach. I was reminded in an instant of how great God is and how awesome His power is that He created a place like this and also spent time creating a life for me. A life for me. A life that doesn’t end at the sucky stuff but keeps going into blessings and love and fulfillment when you stick it out, respond to His call, and just be still. I’ve never felt so whole or thankful in my life, I’m sure of it.
That’s what He wants for us: to be so comfortable with letting go that He can fill us and our lives with everything we could possibly need.
I don’t dare think about how different my life would be if I refused to listen to God’s call and go to the beach. It was a mind-blowing moment of clarity.
There are more of those moments out there, too. We just have to respond.