My wife and I love going to the beach. Not so much to swim, but simply to lay out in the sun and take long walks on the beach. We’ve been fortunate to see some of the World’s beautiful beaches from Key West to Daytona to Destin to Savannah and even Mexico, the Bahamas, and Grand Cayman all the way to Taiwan. Its very relaxing and peaceful to lay in the sun and listen to the waves roll in and out. There’s also always good food to be found somewhere and always time to people watch. We get a kick out of watching the children on the beach and the unfortunate souls wearing swimsuits a couple of sizes too small.
On one of our more recent beach vacations, we were all cozy and comfortable in our reclining chairs under our beach umbrella. The breeze was wonderful and the sun was just right. Our IPOD’s were playing and we were just enjoying the peace and quiet. Life just couldn’t get any better than this!!
After a few minutes of peace, our solitude was disturbed by a family on the beach near us. As best as I could tell, the family consisted of a grandmother; an adult daughter who was pregnant; her husband (I assumed); and their 2 small children. There was something eye-catching (not in a good way) of the daughter who was at least 7 months pregnant wearing a two-piece bathing suit. Not to be outdone, the grandmother, who also looked at least 7 months pregnant, had her own 2 piece swimsuit. Not very flattering in my opinion. The husband was already seemingly drunk and was back for another beer. I could tell this was going to be interesting to watch, so I had to turn my lounge chair around to watch this family. My afternoon’s entertainment was now set.
I can’t tell you how funny it was to watch the husband try to show his 2 children how to fly a kite in the ocean winds, while drunk. He was staggering all over the beach, dodging other people’s coolers and chairs. How in the world he wasn’t totally tangled up in kite string is beyond me. I don’t think the Kite ever got off the ground but it wasn’t without his trying. When all was said and done, the dad asked the child to go get him another cold beer. Of course, the child was only 7 or 8 years old, but he acted like it was perfectly normal for him to be the beer fetcher for dad.
After a long morning of attempted kite flying, staggering, and beer drinking, it was time for lunch on the beach. Out of the blue, I heard the grandmother yell to everyone out on the beach, “time for lunch, come and eat!!” Like ants to an ant bed, the family came rushing to grandma. I was getting hungry myself. As fast as everyone ran, I figured it must be something really good. Just as the kids were all sitting there waiting for food like baby birds in the nest waiting for the mother bird, the grandmother gives them the days meal choices, “boys, do you want Vienna Sausages, or Chocolate Chip Cookies?” The lunch of champions. Now, I wasn’t very hungry anymore, but they didn’t seem to mind. Of course, for the Dad, there had to be a couple of more beers to top off this gourmet meal.
After their “lunch,” the children started doing what most children do on the beach which was digging holes in the sand. They actually had a pretty good hole dug when dad decided they needed his engineering knowledge. After all, he had already had at least a 6 pack, by my count, within an hour and who knows how much more that I didn’t count. It was obvious that he felt he could contribute some much needed guidance to his children’s hole digging enterprise.
They dug and they dug and they dug. I would guess the hole was knee deep or so before dad got the brilliant idea that they should fill the hole with ocean water. He didn’t seem daunted by the task, even though they had only a couple of buckets and were at least 200 feet from the water. I told my wife that this was about to get really interesting.
They ran to the water; filled the buckets; and returned to the hole. Time after time after time. First the kids would go until they were tired. Then the drunk dad would fill his bucket and slosh it all the way back until by the time he got back to the hole, there was nothing left in his bucket. Needless to say, it didn’t matter how many trips to the water they made, they couldn’t fill up the hole. The sand in the hold just absorbed the water and they never made any real progress. After about 30 minutes of extreme effort, they gave up the battle and the dad had another beer. In his mind, he had earned it this time around.
I started thinking about this wonderful thing called God’s Grace. It’s one of those terms that sounds goods and we hear it often, but don’t really understand it , or at least I didn’t. The true definition of Grace centers around God giving us something that we don’t deserve, like Salvation. We didn’t ask for it. We can’t buy it. We can’t do anything to earn it. God’s Grace is available to all of us, even though we don’t deserve it. The other beautiful thing about God’s Grace is that there is a never ending source. Like the Ocean Waves that day on the beach, His Grace is ever flowing and never ending.
Our lives are full of sin, whether we admit it or not. The good news is that no matter what we may have done, God’s forgiveness of those sins and the Grace He shows us is from a never ending source. There is no sin greater than what Grace can forgive. If we sometimes feel that our sin has sometimes “dug such a deep hole” that we can’t dig our way out, it’s comforting to know that God’s Grace will ALWAYS be sufficient to fill that hole with His Love from the never ending Ocean of God’s Grace.