Our family loves the beach. There is just something about the ocean that speaks vacation, rest and time with the family for me. As a child growing up in England, we vacationed in an amazing, beautiful place called Cornwall. (Insert pic of Sennon) The surf, the smell, the beach and the time away with my family are some of the best memories I have of my childhood. Now that I have a family of my own, we have been blessed to use our friend’s house in Southwest Florida for ten years in a row.
A few years ago I was sat on the shore line with the tiny waves running over my feet. It was a typically beautiful day at Siesta Key. (Insert pic of Siesta Key). My youngest two sons were having a blast in the ocean, my wife and daughter were chatting away to each other when I noticed an awesome scene that God really used to speak to me.
As these tiny birds with long beaks flew down it was clear they were on the hunt for food. Using their bills to dig quickly down for whatever was just under the surface of the sand. But I also noticed something else as they flew up and down with the coming and going of the waves. These beautiful birds who get to spend their lives in amazing beauty, fused with each other. One would land and another would come and stalk, fuss and prod to battle for a few inches of wet beach. In fact I noticed they wasted so much time fighting each other they had just a split second to dig for food. Why waste all that time and energy and miss the most important part of what they were doing?
I thought to myself as I watched the birds come down, fuss, peck and then fly back up, “this is such a strong picture of worry, fear and anxiety in my life”. Worrying doesn’t change anything, fear often paralyzes me and anxiety can sometimes keep me up at night. But worrying, being filled with fear or anxiety doesn’t change anything!! Just like the birds on the beach fussing with each other rather than feeding, worrying misses the key piece of our lives. Worrying says, “I need to fix this”, it plays the “what if tapes” and it keeps our focus on the here and now. Faith on the other hand looks up and remembers God is all powerful, God is all loving and I can trust Him.
Rather than fuss, fret and worry God invites you and I to pray. I love these verses: Philippians 4:6-7 “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
I hope and pray this story encourages and challenges you this day!