Today is a “Sea Day”, meaning no port o’ call stops today. We are on Day 6 of our seven-day cruise to Mexico on Holland America’s ms Westerdam. The trip has been amazing, incredible, experiential – pick an adjective. More compelling though, the journey has been inspirational.
Each day, I’ve often gazed at the ocean’s awesome expanse from our room’s veranda or on one of the ship’s decks. During these quiet moments, the rhetorical questions of God to Job recorded in Job 38 have enriched me with pause for thought; specifically verses eight through eleven:
Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
When I said,
“This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!”
The sight of endless water, as far as one can see and beyond, is breathtaking. Nautical mile after nautical mile, and hundreds of them, knowing nothing but water. And consider that at the time of this writing we are a couple of hours north of Mazatlan and the depths of the sea is 3440 feet. Under these waters, two One World Trade Center skyscrapers can stand one on top of the other. River City residents can imagine seven EPCOR Towers positioned one on top of the other in these depths. How amazing is that!
It’s even more so to us. The Bos Lady and I have been prairie dwellers all our lives. We gasped our first breaths near places brightened by endless seas of golden canola. In God’s good plan, we were blessed with our own children, who played under the warm sun of big-sky flatlands. We took family vacations across miles and miles of arrow-straight highways to see the majestic towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains. But oceans and seas have never been part of our lives. They have been mysteries to us. But this week, they have become more than a mysterious unknown. They’ve become inspirational, and intensely so.
It is the Almighty One who created the depths and expanses of these waters, and guides the movements of the great beasts of the deep and cares for all of the creatures in the watery depths. And yet, He also cares for the Bos Lady and me. Imagine that. As insignificant and microscopic as we are against the backdrop of these dark, deep and infinite mysteries of the great deep oceans, our awesome God loves and cares for us. What a covenant, what grace!
Can you believe that?
That is a rhetorical question as well. But one that has two obvious answers, depending on where you stand and what you believe.
For us, we take our position under the divine power of God and the perfect love of God, as described in the words of Job 41 and the lyrics of Charles Wesley’s beautiful hymn, “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain”…
Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
Can you put a reed through his nose,
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he make many supplications to you?
Will he speak softly to you?
Will he make a covenant with you?
Will you take him as a servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
Or will you leash him for your maidens?
Will you companions make a banquet of him?
Will they apportion him among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
Or his head with fishing spears?
‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
[Refrain] Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
This ocean journey for the Bos Lady and me will soon come to an end. But the inspirations will carry us on. Forever.