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Sea Life on the Mediterranean

Abiding. It’s a repeated invitation that God gives. And it’s a daily choice we all have before us. Yet, somehow being able to touch the ground has such an allure, doesn’t it?

I am a New Yorker. Born and raised in the great state of New York where I have so many fond memories. And as a result of growing up in upstate, our vacations would often center around going to the shore. Our family enjoyed many summers discovering the various cities and coastlines along the eastern seaboard - from the Jersey sands all the way down to the Florida coasts. They were each unique and beautiful, yet in some respects they were quite the same, as well. You see, as an east coast resident, when one went to the shore you would inevitably have fun tackling the Atlantic waves that rhythmically pounded the ocean floor. You would confidently walk through the frigid white frothy waters to where the waves were just beginning to break and then you would have great delight in either jumping over those waves or diving through them. Over and over again you stood there assessing the veracity of the oncoming wall of water and choose your weapon of defeat over this fast approaching force of nature. Either way, by the time you tired of this game, you would be forcibly pushed back to shore, exhausted, spitting sand out of your mouth, and yet delighted by the fight.

For close to twenty years, John and I have had the privilege of living close to the Mediterranean sea where sea life is totally different then what I grew up with. Now, being a woman of a certain age and sporting a head of curly gray hair, let me just say, that it’s communicated to be socially “weird” to relish seeing the passing coast guard boats or the occasional fast approaching storm in order to once again challenge the waves. No. Sea life is quite different here. The waters are normally docile and gentle. The waves are a rolling wave, that envelope the swimmer and provide the needed tranquility that people seek. The waters of the Mediterranean most often surround you with the needed cooling refreshment, amidst the hot scorching and relentless sun, and provide you the opportunity to think and relax.

Let me correlate this to my spiritual life. In my daily devotions, I’ve been thinking on what “abiding” looks like. What does Christ call us to when He asks us to abide in Him? This is an invitation that is repeatedly stated throughout the Bible, and yet what does that look like on a day to day basis?

May I share with you my own personal thoughts? I envision it as one wading out into the Med and totally immersing their self with its cool, refreshing waters and then lying back with arms outstretched and floating with the rhythmic waves that are rolling them along. Abiding in Christ is allowing the words of God to surround and envelope you, to refresh you from the scorching minutes of the day. Abiding involves a voluntary release of control and the relinquishing of the ability to keep your feet on the ocean floor in order to determine how far you are from the shoreline. It instead gently allows you to be carried along by your Savior and Lord. He’s got you.

Abiding. It’s a repeated invitation that God gives. And it’s a daily choice we all have before us. Yet, somehow being able to touch the ground has such an allure, doesn’t it?

Let’s make it clear, do I still look for that occasional passing motor boat to enjoy the wake that they produce? Do the people on the beach look at this older woman funny as they see her literally running towards the oncoming waves? Absolutely, yes. But the older I get, the more and more I am enjoying the peaceful, rolling waves that carry me, surround me, and totally envelope me. They remind me that this is what Christ is inviting me to … a life of dependent living with Him at the helm. Come join me as we practice our spiritual back floats in the waters of His word. May they wash over us, surround us, and refresh us to endure the heat of the day.

Ephesians 5:26 “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”

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