Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to HIm and praise His name. FOr the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
It's the end of Thanksgiving week and I'm sitting on a balcony, overlooking the ocean, with my mom and her best friend. It's at the ocean that I feel the Lord's power and presence the strongest. Maybe it's because I was born near the water, or maybe it's just because this is one of the ways He chooses to speak to me. For the song set this morning, I wound up with an "ocean" theme. It wasn't intentional, but the thread was definitely there.
"God of infinite worth, with hands that carved out the ocean".
"The wind is strong and the water's deep, but I'm not alone here on these open seas".
"If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking".
The ocean represents power to me. It's overwhelming. It could swallow us up and wash away everything in its path. Yes, it can easily be held in the hand of the Father. "Who told the ocean, 'you can only come so far'?". My God did.
He's with us in the storms that seem to overtake us. "Sometimes He calms the storm, with a whisper, 'Peace be still'; He can calm any sea, but it doesn't mean He will. Sometimes He holds us close while the wind and waves blow by. Sometimes He calms the storm, but other times, He calms His child".
Overwhelming grace. We're all sinking. How He loves us, that He would allow all that is wicked, selfish, terrible, sinful, and filthy about us be swallowed up in His grace. Buried. Forgotten. Washed away. Forgiven.
So, with the thousands of things I'm thankful for, I think I'm most thankful for that unmerited favor that means I'm a stranger here with a hope for a home that's is beyond my wildest imagination. I'm thankful for a Creator who carved out the oceans, but took time with the tiniest detail. I'm thankful for a Savior who walks on water and has the power to calm any storm in my life. And, I'm thankful for a Father who removes my sins as far as the East is from the west and buries them at the bottom of the sea where I have no hope of retrieving them.
Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King, His love endures forever.