I stood on the balcony of our hotel room, looking at the view - neatly manicured lawns, perfectly placed garden lights, majestic palm trees…and felt a bit disappointed with all of it. It was all very neat and pretty, but staged and canned.
One can of a generic Caribbean dream.
Choosing the sea
Then I looked out at the Caribbean Sea in the distance and was immediately struck by its raw beauty. Stretching endlessly as far as the eye could see, kissing the sun and cloud flecked sky - truly beautiful. Not safe, nor created by men or under their control, but, full of adventure, life and beauty.
I felt that You, Lord, were drawing my attention to these contrasting scenes and allowing me to see the starkness of dissimilarity in respect of beauty, true beauty.
I felt as if You were using it as a picture of my life…as if You were saying, that I could have the mediocre green-dyed lawn, “safe” and controlled by me - and void of wonder and beauty; or… I could step out of the boat, into the sea which only You control.
I have zero control over the sea. I also have zero control, ultimately, over much of my life. Yet, I spend so much time nit-picking, trying to rein in every aspect, reigning over all, ruling over each detail, and being devastatingly crushed when things didn’t go as I contrived or imagined.
You, Lord, however, remain …a firm foundation. When all hope is lost, or at least - my hope in my hopes and plans, I know that I can hope in You. When my hopes die their natural death, I can finally ask You, Lord, what are Your hopes for me? What is the dream of Your heart for me? Then… in the quietness of surrender, my noisy soul stilled - like a weaned child with its mother – I traded my small dreams, for Your large ones.
Choosing the Son
As I looked out over the balcony, at the pretty garden lamps which lit the meandering pathways, another question snuck into my heart “Could these lamps compare to the sun?”
No, they couldn’t.
The lamps were made by men, who could turn them off and on - when they pleased - to lighten or darken a small area.
The sun was made by You, God. You control when it rises and sets, when it will be seen or hidden, its intensity and its mildness. It is in Your control alone; but it is beautiful, and majestic. The sun doesn’t just light up a room - it lights up the world. And it is good because You made it well.
Which do I choose? I choose the sun. I choose the Son, and His plans for me. I choose to walk with Him upon the seas of uncertainty, skipping over the waves of unbelief and pride, running atop the ocean of fascination, beauty, intimacy, wonder and delight.
Help me, oh God, to yield control to You each day, even as I surrender to You, this day. Oh, that we may know the joy of surrender, the happiness of holiness, the pleasures of knowing and resting in You.
Francesca Tavares (West Indies) is a daughter, sister, friend, avid reader, attorney-at-law, and porridge connoisseur. She enjoys Jesus and fulfilling His purposes for her life on Earth.