“I stood on the edge to see what I could see
Told my heart to never forget Your Spirit birthed in me”
When Eva was two, we went on a beach vacation. Weeks before the trip, the whole family told her about the ocean. “It’s the biggest swimming pool ever!” Maddy informed her. “The waves are awesome!” Ethan explained. The entire drive to the coast, we regaled her with tales of the sea. She was primed for big water.
After checking into the twenty-five-story beachfront condo, we immediately went out onto our balcony eighteen stories up to finally show Eva the unending body of water. Her eyes took it in and she finally understood. The ocean is big.
If you have been on a beach vacation with small children, then you know it can easily take an hour from the moment you decide to go swimming to the moment you actually leave the condo. Especially if you have Anglo-Saxon skin. The process seems endless: putting on bathing suits, gathering boogie boards, collecting towels, selecting beach toys, packing the cooler, and lathering sunscreen on in generous amounts upon every surface that could even possibly see a moment of sun and few spots that shouldn’t, just in case.
Along the way, the kids become almost unbearable. Their understanding of “be patient” is waiting three minutes between asking, “When are we going to the beach?”
While we prepared, Eva got caught up in her older brother and sister’s euphoric expectation. The kids would run to the balcony and look at the “osen,” as Eva called it, and laugh. Then Ethan would exclaim he was going to ride the biggest wave on his boogie board which he carried everywhere. Then they would come find us to ask, “Aren’t we ready yet?” and “Can we go now?”
Waiting is so hard.
Finally, everyone lathered in sunscreen, towels accounted for, flip-flops on, we headed for the door. I did a head count and found that Eva was not among us. I called for her. “Eva, let’s go swim in the osen! Eva?” There was no response. I walked through the condo and finally found her naked in the master bathroom trying to get into the tub.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Mmm, take a baff, Daddy,” she said.
“What about the ocean?”
My daughter, tired of waiting, and upon seeing the bathtub, forgot about the ocean. She was more than willing to trade the ocean she had not experienced for the familiarity of the tub.
Suddenly my Father spoke to my heart and said, “Jason, the promises I have for you are the size of the ocean. Don’t get distracted by bathtubs.”
The moral of this story? Not all water is created equal. Don’t let the bathtub distract you. Gods
promises are as big as the ocean. His promises are astounding; a greater works adventure, a one of a kind expression of His love revealed to and through us.
I pray grace and hope as you lean into your ocean promises. And may the world be forever changed because of your faith.
This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book “Untamed”. It releases October 20.
Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s latest book Prone To Love is available now.