I looked into the bowls scooped out from the rocks: small barnacled baths. They were way stations for little crabs and tiny ocean life pounded shore-ways by the waves. My mom said, “They just have to wait until high tide comes to draw them back out to sea.”
“There’s something metaphoric in that,” I replied, teasing at first – but then the idea began to take shape.
Do crabs recognize when they’ve left the open ocean for a cloistered tide pool? Debatable. They likely don’t think much of it. But for me, exchanging glances between the green-foamed ocean surges to the stagnant puddles muddied by algae overgrowth, the preference was clear. I would rather remain where the excitement is.
I mean, I’m not a big adventure-seeker, but in my own way I enjoy when the world is my oyster (pun maybe sorta kinda definitely intended). When my carefully-planned and thoroughly-mapped-out risks result in success and new horizons, I still feel the thrill. I would rather endure the possible troubles of opportunity than tap my foot in a waiting room where circumstances never change.
And yet…sometimes God does push me into the tide pools.
It always seems to be right when I think my breakthrough is sure, too. So I rail at Him, “I took a leap of faith! I followed Your call and chanced a big decision, and now You have me stuck in limbo. Thanks SO much for the confirmation.” To make matters worse, I discover that while I’m buried in the rocks, I can’t see when the tide is coming back for me. Like the little crabs, I just wait without knowing.
But let us not forget: the tide is always on time.
Literally speaking, it runs on a schedule of gravitational pull, but even the tides of life must draw in and retreat according to our Maker’s preparations. It’s my choice to recognize whether there’s a purpose in each.
Maybe God gives us rest when we don’t think we need it. I’m not sure; I still mull it over. But in the tide pools I have learned that there’s very little to distract me from turning to my Savior. It’s a time of immanent intimacy, where God must be all or I have nothing. Just bits of algae for recourse.
There will be time for oceans. Life is not all about opportunity. Sometimes it’s about us little crabs understanding that in plenty or scarcity, there is still always Enough.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
You make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
Surely I have a delightful inheritance.