“Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9,10). “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
This last weekend we went to Rehoboth Beach, a touristy coastal town in Delaware about three hours from our home. Growing up we both lived far from any ocean and Brooksyne did not have her first ocean sighting until 1979 several years after we got married. That was on the Delaware shore, not far from where we spent the long weekend. For the last 25 years we have lived relatively near the ocean and now usually have at least one shore trip annually. This spring we saw the ocean in Florida when we visited my sister Genelle and her husband in Jacksonville.
We enjoyed several bike rides this weekend and I managed to get an accumulative 50 miles of riding in and many miles of walking as well. Early Saturday morning we both rode along together on the boardwalk and while looking out over the ocean mused concerning hymns that had a nautical theme or reference to the ocean. We considered several hymns including “Like A Mighty Sea”, an old gospel song rarely heard any more and the perpetual favorites like “The Love of God” (“Could we with ink the ocean fill”) and “It Is Well” (“When sorrows like sea billows roll”). Can you think of others?
Indeed, the ocean has inspired many Scripture verses, hymns, and settings for writings; both fiction and nonfiction throughout the ages. However there are many, many hymns than most of us would ever know or have ever even heard of with a nautical theme. See link below. And of course the ocean continues to be a source of inspiration for new songs as well such as one we sing in our church called “Grace Upon Grace”.
The first daily text gives the accounting at Creation of how the oceans were formed on the third day of creation. It’s so vital to understand and believe these foundational Creation truths in understanding the remainder of the Bible.
Sunday evening we walked from the home we stayed at down to the boardwalk I said to my family, as I seem to say at least once on each shore trip, “Let’s go see if the ocean’s still there.” Well it was still there! We watched as wave after wave came crashing into the shore.
“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16). I’ve long associated this verse with the ocean due to a sermon I heard as a young Christian. Jeff Ronald was a fellow Bible School student who was preaching from John 1 and used the persistent, rolling waves of the ocean, wave upon wave, as an illustration of the phrase, “grace upon grace”. The Amplified Bible renders the passage, “For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]”.
At times of need and trial we may be tempted to wonder “Is grace still there?” But like the ocean waves we can be sure it is!
Crashing over me
Come and drown my shame
In Your mercies deep
O-oh rid my soul, of every guilty stain
With grace, upon grace
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, any words we speak or analogies we use cannot fully describe your infinite mighty power and matchless grace. It miraculously reaches beyond the heavens, is visible throughout all the earth, and is resident within our own hearts. It is only in experiencing a personal relationship with you that we begin to tap into the inexhaustible power and grace that comes from You, Almighty God. Even as the waves of the ocean are constant and powerful and wash up on shore, may You fill our lives to overflowing grace so that Your mighty presence is visible in our lives and spills out to those around us. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.
Note: We got back home from the shore last night and have early appointments today so have not been able to process many photos from our trip this last weekend. We expect to share more throughout the week, as well as other lessons and illustrations from our trip.