I want to give you some background about why this article has it's title. In 2011 I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Molokai, Hawaii. I'm not going to tell you how great the island is, because part of its charm is that it's NOT a tourist location. 38 miles long and 10 miles wide, the 7,000 people who reside there all know one another on a first name basis. You meet them once, and you're considered family. The pace is soooo much slower than Cincinnati. The average speed limit is 35 mph!
On the Thursday of my stay, I got to scuba dive. Sure, I snorkeled on Tuesday, but this was a whole new experience for me. I was in awe of all the stuff I saw in the ocean - turtles, eagle mantarays, Schools of fish so brightly colored it took your breath away, like the yellow Tangs I swam along with for a while. I guess all my life I've focused on God's creations in the world on land, and the ocean opened my eyes to a whole other world I want to continue to explore.
As I looked around me, even at the beautiful coral and SO many different fish, along with everything else down there, I smiled to myself and chuckled (as best I could with a breathing apparatus in my mouth) because I was thinking. The thoughts, probably really a prayer, "God you could have gotten bored or tired of creating stuff and only created a handful of different ocean creatures, land creatures, vegetation, etc. You even created goofy things like rhinos, and the penguin, the octopus and jelly fish.But instead of just creating a few generic things, You showed off, instead creating so many different kinds of... pretty much everything, just for our enjoyment. How awesome is that! Instead, You yourself laughed and enjoyed making things, some things to make us laugh too."
Eventually in my scuba descent I got to the bottom of the ocean floor. I stood first, then I just sat down. I SAT DOWN ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN FLOOR! If scuba is old news to you, that might not mean much. To me I was speechless.
But as I sat down, I was immediately reminded of the Audio Adrenaline song "Ocean Floor". If you know any of the lyrics, or want to watch the YouTube video I've attached to this article, the lyrics include:
the mistakes I've made that caused pain
I could have done without - all my selfish thought
The things I hide ~ YOU have forgot about
My misdeeds ~ all the things that haunt me now
They're not a pretty sight to see
BUT they're wiped away by a mighty mighty wave
They're all behind you, they'll never find you ~
They're on the ocean floor
Your sins are forgotten ~ they're on the bottom
of the ocean floor.
Your sins are erased ~and they are NO MORE.
THEY'RE ON THE OCEAN FLOOR.
You could have punched me, but I would have felt nothing compared to literally sitting on the ocean floor reminded of those words. If you've subscribed to my Examiner articles, or just stopped in now and then, you've noticed I haven't written so much lately.
This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life ~ mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Some days I only prayed that God would get me through the next hour, not the next day or even the next month. I needed Him every minute.
So I sat there on the ocean floor and picked up a handful of sand, first looking at it, then closing my fist around it. I heard God telling me,
"Okay, Lynnette, what you hold on your hand is all your past junk, this is all the past baggage, guilt, bitterness, resentfulness, sin - everything. It is ALL in the past now, down here on the ocean floor, and we're going to leave it all here."
God nudged me, and I slowly opened my fist, so the sand could fall back to the ocean, and I watched as it slowly made it's way down to the ocean floor with the rest of the sand.
Then I heard Him say,
"See all this sand? This is everyone else's baggage, mistakes, misdeeds and confessed sins. Can you tell yours apart from anyone else's? Of course you can't. So you cannot pick up your past - it's now intermingled with everyone else's pasts, and if you pick up any sand, you could be picking up sand that belonged to someone else. It's gone. You're my child, don't look back, just live in the moment and I will guide your steps."
You probably think I'm a nut to be sitting on the ocean floor having this serious conversation with God. But it's why God chose Molokai, where I would have quiet time, alone with my thoughts, and with God so I could regroup after an extremely difficult year. But this was also proof to me that God hadn't left me, He hadn't put more on me that I could bare, and He gotten me through it. And He would get me through whatever else may come.
That's the way God works with all His children. Because He loves us so much sometimes He disciplines us, but He NEVER stops loving us.
2012 Mission Statement For My Life:
The past is on the ocean floor as pieces of sand with everyone else's. You can't pick it up. Leave it. It is what it is.
Live in the Moment, in the Now, and enjoy what your have, not lingering on what you have not.
Leave the future in God's capable hands. He's never wrong.
How about you? Have you got a story about how God got you through difficult times? I'm sure the readers of this article would love to hear your story. Please comment below.