“Since time began, He has sustained the world, unchanging in His glorious strength even as oceans rise and fall and year turns into year. We can see God’s love at work all around us, in towering mountains, colorful sunsets, and flowers bursting into bloom. From the story of life recorded in the knots of an ancient tree, to the dance of surf over rock as it heads toward the shore, all creation speaks of the mighty power of God’s wonderful and caring heart.”
When we lived in New England, a yearly highlight was our vacation on Cape Cod, an arm-shaped peninsula reaching into the Atlantic. Our family would stay in the “elbow” of that magic place, five minutes west of the ocean beach and ten minutes east of the bay. When the children were young, the calm water and tidal pools of the latter provided endless hours of play and discovery. Each visit produced some new creature to marvel at, whether they were flying by or caught in our nets. The ocean beach was a colder, rougher playground that offered other wonders, including seal sightings and some pretty dramatic surf displays when storms blew through.
It was impossible to be at either spot without sensing the Lord’s nearness. Whether it was His power, His creative genius, or simply His almost tangible presence, that awareness of God became like a healthy addiction—we couldn’t get enough. So nearly every day would include a stop at one (or often both) of those beaches.
It may surprise you that on vacation—a time that allows the luxury of sleeping in—we’d often rise earlier than normal in order to be on Nauset Beach for sunrise. At that hour, the shore is nearly deserted, and we would be treated to God time and stunning sky shows without distraction. Later, we’d bookend the day’s adventures with a visit to Skaket Beach and join others in chaises arranged theater-like for the sunset. Some brought snacks; most watched in silent fascination. And when the last glimmering dot vanished, there was often applause.
Did the rest of the audience recognize the Creator in the spectacle? I never knew if there were any other Christians among those watching, but it seemed everyone felt a sense of wonder. And I suspect many, like me, heard a tune play in their head: “Day is done, gone the sun …”
God is nigh indeed.
Illustration by Adam Cruft