I watch Claire walk on the sand and she is not so sure about it.
She doesn’t remember this beach from the summer before. She doesn’t remember sitting in this very sand, playing in the water, crawling around and trying to cram the whole beach in her mouth. This is all brand new. It’s unexplored, unknown, untamed. She doesn’t know what might happen here.
She walks gingerly, looking to us for reassurance. She talks a lot about, “Beach, beach, beach!” trying to assure herself that she’s not scared and that she’s okay. She wants us to stay near. If I walk too far ahead, she says, “Mama!” and holds out sweet little arms. If her daddy steps too far away to get a better angle for the picture, she says, “Daddy!” until he comes back close.
She needs to know that she’s okay. That this is good.
She sits down and tries to brush the sand off of her feet. “Beach?” she says to me and I smile. She is funny, trying to figure out what the meaning of all of this is. Her Nana and I laugh at this little one we love so much.
Claire is independent and likes to do things herself. She wants to be able to walk fearless on the sand. She keeps trying it out but won’t go very far. “Mama? Daddy? Nana?” She wants us near.
Because she knows that if we are near, she is okay. Just like if we know He is near, we are okay.
I am struck by this as I watch her try, as I watch her have her adventure.
In the end, she wants Daddy’s hand and then she walks with confidence.
Her little heart already knows that she is safe holding Daddy’s hand. She moves faster now, with more excitement and with assurance. “Beach!” she says.
Her little heart knows that Daddy’s nearness is good, that his hand holding hers is good. That he will keep her safe and that he will walk with her. She doesn’t doubt him, or second guess his motives, or wonder if he’ll be there for her. She knows that he will.
We can know that too. We can know that He is with us, that He walks with us. We can know that He will stand with us, hold us up, keep us safe in the storm. We can know it because we can see it in our lives and we can read it in His word.
In my thankfulness journal, I record His great love. How He loves me with the smell of the ocean air, how He hugs me with warm breezes and kisses me with a mist blowing in. How He is with me as I gaze out on the expanse of sea and sand…He set each grain of sand, He knows every wave. He can name every bird swooping down on the sound and every jelly fish washing up on the beach.
I can read in His word of His great love as I read about His Son and the gift of Calvary.
As I read this:
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I can reach for His hand and call His name. He will be faithful to give hand and answer. He will be faithful to walk with me in unfamiliar places, through scary new adventures, through flame and storm. He will be faithful, even when I am not.
I will just hold His hand and know that I am okay.