I am spending a week at the beach and loving it. This place is truly special to me and is the place where I feel most connected to the Lord. Last year, it was where I poured out my heart to Him and He answered with a specific direction for my life.
Yesterday morning I was up to take my morning walk on the beach. I always approach it with some level of expectancy because it’s generally pretty secluded and I can lose myself in praise and prayer while traveling north toward Caladesi Island State Park in north Clearwater Beach.
And then, something very interesting occurred. As I trekked along watching this scene play out along the shore and in my mind, I encountered a couple walking the opposite direction. Every so often they would stop and I noticed the man would stoop down and toss something in the water. The closer I got to them, I realized he was picking up those desperate creatures and gently returning them to the safety of the Gulf. That really struck a chord in my heart. That couple was going along and whenever they could, they stopped to redirect the course of one of those creatures, literally breathing life back in them with their effort. As Christians, aren’t we fortunate to have people in our lives who help redirect us and bring us back closer to God just when we need it? People who travel along and step in when you are most desperate and help us find our way back to the beauty of total immersion in the Lord.
I finished my walk with a spring in my step. As I did, the words of this passage in Matthew’s Gospel filled my heart. “Come to me,” Jesus said. Come and unload your burdens. We can be just like the shoreline creatures, when the weight of the shell they live in becomes heavy after they are removed from their protector. We become loaded down with the troubles of life when we try to carry them ourselves. Then Jesus says, “come to me” and offers sweet relief. God paints such a beautiful picture for us in simple, every day things. If we’re willing to be open to the message, He will speak in ways that will keep our focus just where it ought to be.