I’ve Always Been A Little Bit Afraid Of This One Thing

I’ve always been a little bit afraid of the ocean.

Whether it’s the mystery of just what exactly lies below its depths, the incredible power of the waves, its influence over the weather, or all three, I don’t know.

And yet, I find myself strangely drawn to it, wanting to be close, but not too close. With every opportunity I get to be at its shore, I find myself just staring out, seemingly at nothing – the way a newborn baby can lock gaze at something only they can see. Many of the moments I’ve felt closest to Him in my life have been when He has met me there.   

The spiritual parallels between the ocean and our life with God are endless. Simply the vastness of the ocean is a “punch in the gut” reminder of how insignificant we are. 

For me, it’s the waves.

Before I really understood the depth of love and grace that God has for me (and you), I’d witness the power of each wave, feel it hit me in the back and knock me down, and about the instant I’d get my legs under me and get a breath, another would crash on me and knock me down again.

All the while, rip currents were trying to pull me out to the deeper water, where I couldn’t stand and would surely drown. At that time in my young life of faith, those relentless waves signified the tough things in life, my failures, the sin I still struggled with.

It was relentless, never-ending, no break, as if God was judging me and allowing the waves to get stronger until, even though I was off balance, drenched, and gasping for air, I was able to get my legs under me and conquer my own baggage. I never did. 

Now, I see Him in the waves differently.  Instead of judgement, it’s grace. Wave after wave, crashing over me. As a more mature believer, my failures and the sin I struggle with is still a part of me. In fact, I’m more acutely aware of it than I ever was as a young buck.

But now, I see the crashing waves, one after another after another – with no end – as the clearest picture of His mercy and grace washing the guilt and shame away completely.  His word describes it this way,  

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16

Each moment, He sends another wave of grace and mercy for you, and what you’re struggling with. The waves NEVER stop. His grace never ends.  

 If you have the chance to experience the ocean this summer, as you look out at the expanse, let Him draw you in to his unending mercy and grace, and to the mystery of it all. And as you see wave upon wave never ceasing, whisper in the rhythm of each wave, “grace upon grace”.  

He loves you that much. 

Matt Stockman  

Brand Director, STAR 99.1

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9 Comments

  1. Karen Krutzsch on July 22, 2022 at 2:03 am

    This is truly beautiful, restorative, healing… uplifting – with a sentiment we can all lean into and embrace – even if we have to just figuratively visit the ocean this summer.

    I remember gazing long at the amazing beauty of the ocean from many past locales, and each time feeling its overwhelming power to totally mesmerize. I could lose myself for hours just being at the water’s edge.

    Thank you for adding such a new depth to it, Matt. God’s love and grace forever rushing in – merciful, entrancing, enveloping, unending!

    • Matt on July 25, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Karen, thank you so much for reading. And I hope you’re able to visit the ocean for real soon!

  2. Dominick Regina on July 22, 2022 at 7:59 am

    Well said Matt!! I too am always reminded of how small we really are when standing in front of the ocean. The sense of awe is simply a reminder of how big our God is.

    • Matt on July 25, 2022 at 9:57 am

      Dominick – thank you for reading!

    • Matt on July 25, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Dominick – thank you for reading! Have a great week!

  3. Lisa Spicer-Simons on July 23, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    Beautifully said! I love the evolution of your interpretation of the ocean. I love how you describe how you “now” interpret the ocean’s powerful waves as “the loving waves of God’s mercy and grace! To God be the Glory! Thanks for sharing so eloquently and with such imagery. May God continue to bless you and use you for His Glory!

    • Matt on July 25, 2022 at 9:59 am

      Lisa – thank you for sharing your comments, and I hope you have a blessed week!

  4. terry lynn surratt on July 24, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    hello
    Your comment about how “Insignificant we are” is very bad-Christ did not die for ” insignificant people” but for precious individuals with souls made in the image of God-or did you for get that .His might and power might put us into the perspective of how big God is in comparison to us

    -but please stop thinking and using the term we are “Insignificant”-God makes no mistakes and he doesn’t create humans as insignificant objects-but rather as precious individuals with souls ,with fallen sin natures-in need of Jesus and his forgiveness.
    No my friend-we are Not “INSIGNIFICANT: :-look at who is hanging on the cross-do you really feel we are insignificant that he died for “:insignificant” humanity and says to all who believe like the thief
    :TODAY you shall be with me in paradise.

    No No -we are NOT INSIGIFICANT-we are deeply loved r believers children of the most high..
    God bless let me know what you think of my commentary.

  5. Matt on July 25, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Terry – thank you for your comments. I, like you, realize that if we were truly insignificant, God would not have gone to lengths he has to make sure we can be saved. To your point, in comparison to the magnitude, might, and power of God as our Creator and Lord, James 4:14 says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”. -Matt

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