We went to the beach. I didn't used to love it, but now I do. The sweat, the sand, the breeze and birds...the people watching! What's up with old guys, speedos and being way-too-tan?! "Sir, you look like a baked potato wearing an indecent red diaper."
I realized on my last two trips that I have a significant fear of walking on a dark beach. A fear that I find not at all unreasonable. There are so many things to step on! Jellyfish bodies, living creatures with tiny pincers, sea shells, broken glass, bottle caps, seaweed, fish, leftover lunches...perhaps it's because I was never allowed to go barefoot. I can barely stand to be barefoot in my own house. I always always have something on my feet. ALWAYS. I really can't stand to step on something squishy or slimy or alive. The idea of stepping on a jellyfish sends me into mild convulsions. So, what may seem like an unreasonable and insignificant fear to say...Jerod...is an absolute terror for me.
Our late-evening walk down the beach then became a highlight for my foot-squishing-fear. We had a small flashlight with us, but I could not focus on the sound of the ocean or anything else because I was lurching with fear. The wind was also so stiff that we couldn't hear each other talk if we were turned just the wrong way. There was a family out searching for creatures...and finding them (!!!) which also didn't help my state of mind. This issue went on for a full thirty minutes. Finally, I commandeered the flashlight and was able to walk in peace. Why didn't I think of that earlier? Now I knew just where to step and could relax some.
Of course, the Lord can use our fears to teach us more about Him. Jerod and I even discussed our fears--big and small--as we walked. As we finished our walk and headed back up to the boardwalk, I had such a great understanding of the words in Psalm 119 that promise "My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path."
Knowing, reading, and studying God's Word reveals His character to me. I have faith that he will not let my foot slip...and He will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121) When His Word illuminates my path, I will know where to step next. Granted, a lamp at my feet--much like our piddly flashlight--only illuminates a few steps at a time. I'm not privvy to what's a year down the road. I do get so caught up in wanting to know what the big master plan is! God promises to give me safe footsteps. If I keep following him day after day, I'll end up where I need to be. Safe and sound. I may have to jump puddles or scale some walls, but He will be there every step of the way.