Dane Skelton

    Dane Skelton is the Pastor of Faith Community Church and the author of Jungle Flight: Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth, a book of true stories from the ministry of JAARS (formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service). His second book, Papua Pilot: Flying the Bible to the Last Lost Peoples, co-authored with the late Paul Westlund, is now available on Amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
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    • May20Wed

      RECOMMENDING THE SEA

      May 20, 2020

      Turmoil. Grief. Anxiety. Are you acquainted with any of these? Of course, you are, especially during this pandemic. How do you soothe them? Where do you find solace? Allow me to recommend the sea.

      Few things soothe my soul like the sea. Visting the shore is an opportunity to engage with God through the majesty of his creation on a level that is difficult to achieve in a neighborhood crowded with houses. The sea’s voice is unmatched by any other except possibly the sky – but that is an article for another day.

      Standing on the shore, facing out to sea feet planted inches from the breaking waves with the world of men behind and nothing but sun, sky, and water before, the disrupted parts of your soul begin to settle.

      I think I know why. See if you agree.

      The sea is expansive. It speaks of the omnipresence of God, massive, immense, all-encompassing, filling the field of view until it disappears over the horizon. The largest ships look like tiny toys across the distant waves.

      The sea tells us nothing is too big for God. Nothing happens that is outside of his perception. Nothing happens in our life that is beyond his field of view.

      Where can I go from your Spirit?

      Where can I flee from your presence?

      If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

      if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

      If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

      if I settle on the far side of the sea,

      even there your hand will guide me,

      your right hand will hold me fast. [1]

      The sea is constant, ever-moving yet never moved. It speaks of the unchanging God. The shore is never silent. Even on dead calm days, the quiet lapping of water on sand or rock is present. It is unchallengeable, indisputable, unchanging. On stormy days it reminds us of our storm-tossed lives. But even then, it does not change. The waves gather and curl and crash into each other and finally spill themselves onto the sand to instantly disappear, their fury spent, their conflict gone. So too our lives but the sea, the life upon which all others depend, lives on.

      God is constant. God does not change. Our lives toss about, curling and crashing into one another, spending our energies in furious conflict. And then they are gone, the fury spent, the battle finished. But God remains.

      The sea is mighty, often challenged, but never conquered. You can feel it, standing there at the top of the tide. Your visceral senses tell you, “this thing can go where it wants and take you along with it.” When sun and sea, pressure, and temperature meet in perfect hurricane pitch, nothing can stand in its way. Only God is more powerful. He marks the boundaries of the sea. It travels not one inch further than his will. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. (Ps 33:7 NIV)

      The sea is majestic. It speaks of the omnipotent God. Nothing he has called us to do is beyond his power to help. Without his permission, nothing can reach past the boundaries he places around our lives.

      The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-- the LORD on high is mighty. (Ps. 93:3-4 NIV)

      Turmoil, grief, anxiety, make a longer list if you want. I recommend the sea. Nothing is too big for God. Nothing changes God. Nothing is too powerful for God.



      [1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ps 139:7–10). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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