Mar 23, 2021 • Written by Nicki Behnke
Beyond the Shore
I overheard my son trying to describe to my husband a place that makes him feel happy and in his element. When words failed him, he finally sighed and said “Well, you know, it’s exactly how Mom feels about the beach. It’s her happy place.”
I had to smirk with just a little bit of pride at his remark. He gets me. The beach - the ocean in particular - is indeed my “happy place.” I love most everything about the shoreline of a beach. Maybe it’s the warmth beneath my feet or the sunlight reflecting off shades of blue that somehow form an invisible line up to the sky. Perhaps it’s the rhythmic steady waves or the sea salt in the air. Whatever it is, the world feels right along the shore.
The interesting thing about my love for the beach is that I rarely get into the water. I don’t like jumping into the unknown. I secretly fear its force and hate that I can’t control what might be swimming my way. The shore somehow feels more familiar and somehow safe.
Lately I’ve been wondering, what if we were meant for life beyond the shore? This past year has put many of us on hold, feeling frustrated, fearful, and alone. It has also given us time to think, re-evaluate, and to feel even if those feelings were difficult to manage.
Now though, hope seems within reach and starting again seems possible. We are on the brink of beginning again and we get to emerge into the world with new rhythms and the abundant life we have had all along in Christ.
God’s desire and design for us is to live a life of abundance. Abundance is an appreciation of life in its fullness, joy and strength of mind, body and soul. It is plenty and more than enough. God’s love for us is abundant but Satan’s goal, especially over this past year, has been to convince us of anything but that truth.
John 10:10 tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
God supplies us with all that we need, and He is overflowing with glorious riches that we have access to. (Philippians 4:19) God can and will do far more in our lives than we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) God is abounding in grace and righteousness. (Exodus 34:6). As we abide in Christ and He remains in us we truly begin to live a life of abundance. (John 15:4) We become women who have the courage to go fourth and the confidence to try because God abides in us. That is abundant living.
Maybe it’s time to step into the glorious life beyond the shore. God has gifted you and your gifts were meant to reach beyond yourself. Your ideas matter. You are deeply valued and loved. You were meant for deep waters because your God abides in you and that changes everything. As the poet Morgan Harper Nichols expresses it so well in her poem below, may God lead you to a life of abundance beyond the shore. It’s time to step into the water.
“She is starting again. She is coming out to sea to be a soul set free - and she will go fourth in deeper waters with hope as the anchor for her soul - she was called to a glorious life beyond the shore.” - Morgan Harper Nichols