I go to Him. To where our words left off mid-conversation from yesterday. It’s always mid-conversation with Him. Always will be, I expect, because His words are endlessly alive and forever living. And relative. As if He knows what we will be talking about the next day.
Well, He does know. And today I am at the beach in Florida with my family. And this morning is wild breakers and crazy surfers and, “Let the sea roar, and all its fullness” (Psalm 96:11) surges from God mouth right over soul’s shore.
I gulp Living Water down and thirst for more. For more“tremble before Him all the earth,” to swallow me. And surfer drags board to shore and doubles over. Did he get shaken up out there in wild toss? I watch him pace, shake the tremble off, and paddle out again.
“Give, give, give to the Lord!” It’s all Psalm Ninety-Six roar alive. And this surfer is. They all are. And they don’t even know it.
And little boy plays rambunctious tag with waves that surpass even his energy, while his mother and sister bend more sedate over something in sand. And my own two girls, young ladies really, hold hands best-friend like and jump waves lopsided and twirl and wave up to me.
I’m still on balcony three floors up. Watching “give” happen.
All give without even knowing it because isn’t this kind of give just joy and play breaking open spontaneous and laughing right out?
I’ve heard said the earth laughs flowers. I lean over balcony rail and ask God right out over ocean itself, “So does the ocean roll with laughter? Does wave after wave of laughter run wide open and out loud up and down the beach?” It is and what am I doing up here, anyway?
“Give!” He says it delight full. Like He’s really loving the “give” He’s seeing. “Give! Give! Give to the Lord!” It splashes off scripture page and I want to. I want to get drenched in the splash.
“Let the earth laugh flowers!” Is He twirling? “Let all the islands rejoice!”
I can almost see Him surfing. “You do, surf that is, don’t You!”
“From island to island and horizon to horizon!” And He is getting carried away in His own fun. He is! I feel it.
The waves keep coming. Line after line. White lipped ‘til the laughter can’t be suppressed one second longer and it explodes out wide open mouth and white froth and it reminds me of when I laughed so hard with my sister that, well, laughter spewed out all white froth. Because we laughed out milk and cereal and isn’t it wonderful that sometimes it just can’t be suppressed?
I’m torn between running down three flights of stairs to beach and staying right here on balcony. Because there are more words. And I don’t want to miss them.
“I see what You’re saying, Lord.” And I do. I hear it, too. It’s in line after line of wave after wave tumbling out verse after verse in Psalm-song.
Deep calls it out to deep, “He is coming! He is coming! Coming from the ends of the earth!” And it was song sung out all Holy Word before He came.
Water broke open before He came. And Mary tossed in the waves. Waves after wave of labor rhythm. One at a time they build in strength, increase in power, break over her and then recede. And she clenched her jaw.
Nothing can hold Him back. No ring ten centimeters wide or wide as circumference of earth’s horizons can hold back His coming. No jaw can clench tight against it. He is coming. The Word will sweep from the ends of the earth to this shore and everything above it and beneath it and in it knows this. And groans for it like Mary did.
“Spill Yourself out of me and pull me deeper into Your power. Into You deep. And deliver Your excitement and Your joy for Your coming ‘til I am washed out like flotsam rising and falling to the rhythm of, ‘He is coming.’” I groan it out like Mary.
God hears. He answers. “Give! Give! Give rejoicing and thanksgiving and singing! Give holy worship and exalt My many names!”
I do right here on balcony. “You Are.” I say it simple and deep. “You just Are the ‘I AM.’” Because there is no absence of presence in the word “Am.”
“God, make my spirit strong to surf! To enter past the shore line of Your gates and into the vast depths of Your courts like I see these surfers do from ocean shore and beyond.”
“Give! Give! Give to Me thanksgiving!”
“I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving.”
“Give! Give! Give to Me praise!” He continues.
“I will enter Your courts with praise.” We are having Psalm conversation and then fall quiet.
A few moments of silence between us, then, “Wanna race?”
I laugh with Him, “You’re on!”
And the two of us take off down the hall to the stairs and trip awkward through loose sand so warm and join the girls. We play and our laughter sprays up and runs along ocean edge and we splash each other in it.
And God is delighted. I just know He is.
Because this is praise.
written by: Carolyn Roehrig