In my last post I shared about how much fun being at the beach with my teenagers was and how we actually enjoyed the beach itself. During one of my people watching breaks in my week-long Sit Still and Do Nothing But Read-A-Thon, I spotted a little girl, probably less than a year old because she could sit up but not walk, with her parents about ten feet away. She was the inspiration for my thoughts on vacationing with little ones versus teenagers. That little one and her parents also inspired this post.
I first spotted Little One (I don’t know her name and I don’t want to keep calling her “Her”) on the second day of my world record mission. Little One’s Mom brought her down to the edge of the water where her Dad was hanging out. After hugs and kisses Mom sat her down in the sand right where the last vestiges of waves would roll onto the sand. As the thin layers of water would gently kiss the sand as far as they could, Little One got splashed.
What really caught my attention was that when Mom sat her down on the sand, before the first wave rolled in and nothing had happened yet, Little One threw up her arms, turned her face upward and laughed with expectancy. It was like she was saying to God, “Go ahead and WOW me! I can’t wait!”
For the next fifteen minutes I watched her and every single time a wave rolled in, no matter how rough or gentle, she had the exact same reaction – she threw up her arms, turned her face upward and laughed with expectancy, as if to say, “Do it again!”
Obviously as a mom myself I realize I probably witnessed her celebration of God’s creation immediately following a nap, a diaper change and a snack (in other words, her little universe was in order during those fifteen minutes), so I don’t want to take this too far. However, the tide was starting to come in, so some times the waves would gently tickle her toes and sometimes they would flat-out knock her over. She experienced everything from a refreshing splash to sand in her mouth and salt in her eyes, but EVERY single time she righted herself (with Mom and Dad’s help), celebrated with a round of applause and invited another one.
The other mesmerizing thing about Little One’s party was that everyone around her was totally caught up in her celebration. It was captivating and contagious. For a brief second it made me want to get up from my chair and join her, but I was having a celebration of my own.
We are God’s children, what if we lived with that kind of expectancy? What if we celebrated God’s goodness and love even when we get knocked down, have sand in our diaper and salt in our eyes?
God is good no matter what our circumstances. He is good all the time. He is love all the time.
What if instead of looking for our circumstances to be perfect, we looked for the perfect God in all of our circumstances? What if we expected Him to reveal His love all the time?
What if instead of gritting our teeth and resigning ourselves to just getting through the next crashing wave, we threw up our hands in praise of the God Who is with us in ALL things, Who works all things together for the good of His children?
How would those around us be affected if we chose to live in celebration instead of defeat or resignation? Would light actually dispel darkness?
In the interest of full disclosure, I did see Little One in less impressive moments that week, so she was in fact a real baby, human just like the rest of us. But I appreciate the invitation I received to her beach party and am grateful to God for glimpses of pure, unadulterated joy and His invitation to enjoy not just a few moments, but an abundant life of joy.
Thank You Father that You invite us all to celebrate You and the abundant life Jesus offers. In Christ, we reign in our best circumstances and our worst, when we live in expectancy of Your goodness and Your love.