“I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love…” Ephesians 3:17-18
"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand. And when I wake up, you are still with me." Psalm 139:17-18
When I was little and living in Florida, one of my favorite things to do at the beach was to sit in the sand near the water and let the ocean roll over my legs. I would stay in the same place reveling in the feeling of the sand shifting. I enjoyed seeing how largely the water would impact where I sat, shifting my body's placement, carrying it by the water as the earth washed out from under me. The process enamored me. The ground, weighty to dig, yet with the slightest swell of water it softened and transformed. The biggest part of the practice that astounded me was that the sand seemed immeasurable. Picking up a handful of it, I would notice how teeny each individual piece was, minuscule in size, unnoticeable alone, but paired with an inestimable amount of other pieces and it was a force of support.
The thing is, no matter how much sand was swept out from under me, there was always more. What the ocean would carry out into itself, it would pour back out in another location. There never came a day that the beach ran out of sand. It was always there ebbing and flowing with the tide. And even if I came to a spot where the earth seemed to collapse and degrade over time, the sand still existed, it just wasn't in a visible place. Today I look at sand and recall God's love over me. It is even more numerous, more abundant than the many grains of sands that carried my weight. I remember that just as I would notice the swirling grains in the water around me, just as I knew, without question, that the ocean was brimming with them; God's love is even more, ever-present, ever vast, ever abounding, ever sufficient and ever providing. That even when we feel spent, as if the earth is being pulled out from under us, when those we've come to know are gone, we can know that God's love is there. It flows into the dark depths of our lives and pours out onto us in all our places. God's love will always remain.