Photo by Jennifer Manske Fenske

The fall here in Colorado refuses to come. Or, perhaps, a better way of saying it is, summer is taking her time leaving us. The days are shorter to be sure, but the warmth of the sun presses down, wrapping the daylight of September in a not-unpleasant embrace. The light slants short this time of year and leaves are to be found, here and there, but all together, a child (and her mother) can still be seen barefoot on the front lawn, sneaking in one more ride on the bicycle before the sun sinks hard to the horizon.

Maybe this late fall is why my mind is captivated by Psalm 33’s line about the awesomeness of God: “He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.” (v. 7).

It makes me think to another time, a time at the beach, when all was play and the sand was beneath our feet. The waters of our beloved Atlantic so vast, but we four were on the ocean side together. Holding down our tiny patch of sand, all of life staked on what was behind us and what was ahead. 

It is impossible to think of holding back the sea, but He has done it.

It is impossible to think of a storehouse vast enough to hold the teeming ocean—every sand, shell and mollusk—but He owns it.

And as I think of this time beside the ocean, when I know full well the cold is coming and summer can’t whirl around us forever—can He hold my heart, too? He who made the earth, the stars, the sea and all creatures…He who can pour the mighty oceans into jars, does he stop to tuck my heart up next to his and whisper my name?

I am small, a wisp, a shadow. I long for immortality, like we all do—hoping there is something I will leave that mentions my love: children, grandchildren, words in a dusty book, a well dug in a place where there was no water. I am learning that only Jesus satisfies and when I strive to order my life to His will, wondrous things begin to happen. The thanksgiving (for the sun! for the sand!) flows; the sacrifices are offered joyfully.

I know the wear and tear of life. I know full well the dreams that have not appeared and the things that have been taken. Caught between life here and life where it never ends, I can fret and say, “Nothing is right.”

Caught between one season and another, my prayer goes up like incense: Capture my heart into your jar. Never let it go.

Beside the ocean, the whole of the sea thundering past and over our feet that day, we laughed. Spinning and aching and loving and swelling. Simple jars of clay loved beyond all measure.


2 thoughts on “The Sea Into Jars

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