This morning I cruised down to Santa Cruz and then drove out of town until I found a less commercial beach.

It was stunning.

No, let me rephrase. God was stunning. 

Either way, I was stunned. Refreshed. Rested. Invigorated. Emptied of everything but beauty, peace, and awe. Yes, emptied.

Has it ever occurred to you that just maybe, you’ve already got peace? That it’s getting diluted, buried, strangled, bitten, and trampled by other things? That if God’s Spirit could draw these out of you, flush them from your system, the peace of God would stand up and rule?

That’s what happened to me, today. The sensation wasn’t one of filling, but emptying. Draining.

The sea was my school master for this eternal lesson. Its tide was low today. The foaming edges of the ocean had retreated fifty steps, slipped back just enough to allow me to explore the treasures strewn along the shoreline. It seemed like the rock, usually submerged, was enjoying the sun, the fresh air. Like the beach itself was breathing, reveling in a new and naked freedom. It’s emptiness became a gift to my soul.

By now, later in the day, the roiling waves have crept back up the patient sand. They’ve hidden my path, erased my footprints, and cooled the baking stones, nourishing the nooks and creatures waiting for their daily filling.

Mmmm, Jesus. It was beautiful. Thank you. Help me to embrace the emptying, to relish it, to wait for the filling as the shifting tide.