Growing up on the East Coast allowed me to experience the Atlantic Ocean from many vantage points. We were campers, and every summer weekend and the long awaited, blessed two week vacation (cue the Doxology!) saw us hauling a trailer anywhere from Canada to Florida. But our favorite place was a small campground on the Indian River Bay in Delaware called Sandy Cove. My memories of those days are filled with laughter, sunlight, fresh seafood that we caught ourselves, and my mother.
Most days we piled into the car and drove a few short miles to the ocean. After settling in with umbrellas, chairs, blankets and towels, my mother and I would walk the beach, sometimes for miles. We camped with a group of families, and these private walks were a moment of respite for both of us. We explored, gathered seagull feathers and shells, tickled our toes in the cold water, but mostly we talked.
We planned my college days and my wedding on that beach. We dissected what was wrong with other members of the family….never US, just the rest of the gang. She taught me about life, love and politics. Every walk was a history lesson as my brilliant mother put the world into context for me. Those moments with her are forever woven into my memory, my personality, and maybe even my DNA.
My mother is gone now. There is no more wisdom to glean, but the part of her that loved the beach and those precious mother-daughter times lives on in me.
Now, I walk with Jesus. I am daily reminded of his promise, “Do not let your heart be troubled, and neither let it be afraid. I will not leave you orphaned.” Loosing my parents made me feel like an orphan, but Jesus reminds me that he is always present and has prepared a room for all of us. My parents are there, and Mom is waiting for me to come and pound the sands of heaven with her someday.
John 14 has beautiful words of assurance for all who wait. Jesus was speaking to his disciples, getting them ready for his death and departure. Of all that is precious in that chapter, this might just be my favorite part:
“Peace I leave with you. MY peace I give to you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and neither let them be afraid.”
Where is Jesus speaking peace into your life today? Don’t be troubled. He is here.