The cool, dark room is a refuge from the heat, light and noise of my world. I enter to let my soul rest. I escape here, knowing that I am being pursued by the rising head of self-pity. It can be relentless. It's presence threatens to destroy the soul peace He gives.
The day to celebrate our Nation's Independence. One in which we have trained ourselves to expect gatherings, cookouts, beaches, parades. I see the pictures and stories of others who are enjoying these, and the talons of my enemy reach ever closer.
Stories of coastal visits reach me, and I begin to succumb. For that is the place in this world that I would most like to be. The sea and its surrounding coastline has always spoken to me in a way unlike any other. The connection is soul deep.
Sounds of sea birds in their constant struggle for supremacy. The crash of waves beating the coastline---relentless since the beginning of time. The briney smell of sea and sand linger in my mind. The horizon of blue painted forever on the walls of my memory. These things are what I miss, and what I find myself longing for today.
I ask my Lord to help my weakness. I am needed here, and I cannot retreat into any depths of self-indulgence. "Lord, be my all. I need you."
Gently, He turns my mind to another place. He shows me the beauty which awaits those who long after Him in this life. The beauty for which this world can only be a foretaste.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Rev. 21:1
"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; And they shall see his face;...." Rev. 22:1-4a
Could it be that the blue horizon, which has beckoned so many, is actually beckoning us toward Him. The part of us that responds to the beauty He has provided is responding to our need of Him. He tells us that He speaks through Creation. By following His call, we enter a path to greater connection and beauty than we have ever known.
My call is not to abandon the beauty, but to follow it to where it leads---to the One Who created it. He alone can fill the aching hole inside us. Were we able to follow the horizon to it's end, we would find the greatest treasure of all---a "glimpse of His dear face". With our eyes fixed assuredly on that goal, our trials of this life will surely "seem so small", and we will say with the hymn writer, "It will be worth it all." (Rushton, Esther, When We See Christ)