Tethered to His Mast: His Nightsong
“When God tells you to be brave, he will make it work. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be easy. But it will be your story and your best story.” - Annie F. Downs
“She walks in grace and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
I have a warrior heart! The women who speak my language are ones with the air of adventure about them. I love the scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King where Eowyn kills The Nazgul. You can see the terror and fear in her eyes. Yet, there is something deeper. She is a protector, a warrior, and her bravery is unmatched. In fantasy I live with that depth of bravery.
In reality…well…I long to be brave! I really do. There are times when my timidity gets the better of me and I cow under fear. The reality is muddier than fantasy.
God calls us to be brave in the midst of our den of lions, raging fires, giants, turbulent storms, high seas, and burning bushes. The beauty is He never asks us to do it alone. He stands with us in the midst of our ‘valley of the shadow of death’. As grace is, so is bravery – manna. It cannot be stored, but is given new when we step out to receive it, and not a moment before.
About a week before I went to Florida my Dad purchased tickets to take us Zip Lining. It would be he and his three daughters. Mom thought we all were utterly insane, and contented herself with eating breakfast and making friends at the Lodge.
My sister, Meredith, was light and effervescence that day! She was literally described as a “tree elf”! She would zip along laughing and giggling – a child’s delight in adventure. It was completely infectious. She encouraged everyone else who was nervous or scared. My breath was taken away at how beautiful and free she was in that moment. She was an ‘other worldly’ being that day.
I, however, was not! I did zip line, and loved it. I had anxiety thinking about it afterwards, but I loved it! I hate that the video taken of me showed a girl tight and drawn in. I go inward. I dig deep down in myself. I become a stoic wall. In my heart, each level of line brought more joy out of me, but my face rarely showed the truth. I longed to join my sister in her freedom. I was learning to be brave…
I am used to doing things by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with friends, being a part of other narratives. Still, I really enjoy going to restaurants or the movies, even taking mini vacations by myself. So, when my heart leapt at the thought of going for a night walk on the beach, I just assumed I would figure out how to go by myself. It was an utterly silly notion after all. I had been on the beach before the sun crested the horizon. There were many molten sunsets witnessed. The one thing I had never done was take a night walk on the beach. It was an adventure I was timid in sharing. What if everyone thought me ridiculous?
I mumbled my desire of adventure to Tamera. She asked if Abby and she could go with me, unless I wanted to go by myself.
In that moment it was hard not to think of David’s strong warrior men. You know the guys; the ones who were willing to go into enemy territory to quench his thirst. A cup of water offered to a war torn soul humbles, heals, and loosens binds:
David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to the LORD; - 1 Chronicles 11: 16-18
I had begun to worship in that moment. Giddiness and hope bubbled, and I knew I was in for an adventure like no other.
|The beginning of our walk!|
The night sky was transcendent. I don’t know how God continually creates masterpieces. His handiwork is a grand gesture of His providence in our lives. It displays His hand and control of this grand world.
Immediately, Tamera – lover of the sea, shell collector – found a grand shell. It was black knobbed with a shock of glistening silver turquoise underneath. The treasure captured, we began to walk further along the shore. A beautiful woman saw Tamera’s shell and commented that she had found one as well. A common thread of familiar need and expectant joy, but there was to be more. God in His wisdom speaks to us. He uses specific small moments to flood our hearts with the joy He has for us. He sends people, strangers, from wondrous far off lands to speak truth in our hearts. It staggers me at times how He does this.
|One of the most beautiful parts of the sunset!|
The woman we met on the beach that night spoke with a cadence from another land. A land filled with mystery and magic. Tamera asked where she was from…Ireland.
Ireland speaks to Tamera. The culture and the land match her hearts rhythm perfectly. It is, in fact, a desire of hers to go to Ireland.
God is so tender and intimate with us. He cares to give us JOY! He cares about our dreams. In conversation this lovely woman spoke a truth to Tamera’s heart! Set a date – you will go! (There is more to this story. It is Tamera’s story and maybe she will share it.)
We gathered ourselves together and continued to walk. Abby and I had worn summer dresses. The waves pulled and tugged at my hem as I walked on broken shell and sand. We walked and walked and walked! I knew at some point we would have to turn around. Yet, the sun kept setting. I did not want to let it go! I wanted to chase it!
|The stopping point!|
Finally, I slowed. I stopped. I knew we could go no further, but I just couldn’t turn back. I turned my face to the light, drinking it in! It does not go quietly. We do not go quietly.
Abby asked if we could pray. This beautiful woman with a heart for the Lord brought us around to the Maker of this wonderment.
So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set… - Exodus 17: 11-12
We stood there, Aaron and Hur’s, holding each other’s arms up! As the tide washed over bare toes, phones and keys stuffed in bras, we prayed. We prayed and praised – giving honor and glory to His Majesty – for what was, what is, and what is to come! God loves to hear His promises spoken back to Him. It fills his heart with brilliant joy! We communed with the creator of this masterpiece. God the Father, Jesus Christ our Lord! We were in the midst of His element.
He knew coastal living! He rescued His disciples from rough waters. He not only caused the sun to rise and set over oceans deep, but he viewed them as well. I wonder if he watched the sun peak over the horizon, cascading jeweled light over the Galilean Sea, as He prayed for His people – as He prayed for us – those he was with and those to come! Selah!
|I was determined to capture our night walk!|
My prayer in the midst of the storm, when life simply becomes too much pain and hard edges, is that He will be my night song. He would sing over me as Zephaniah said. The melody would make me brave; walk on the waves with Him brave!
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. – Psalm 92:4
*On the way back there was childlike wonder! A moment. A dare. I am quiet and often reserved, but it is rare for me not to giddily take on a dare especially if it holds some ‘childlike wonder’. Tamera dared Abby and I to run into a strangers tent, and she would take a picture. (It was a little Hobbit tent too, which was utterly awesome!) We, of course, did it! I can just imagine our Heavenly Father throwing His head back in laughter at His children in that very moment!!!
|The joyous afterglow of being in His light!|
- So This Is Joy
Tamera is also writing about this vacation in a wonderful series entitled: Treasure Hunting. You can find it in her Chambers section at: Seventy Palms
Here is a beautiful song by Ellie Holcomb called Night Song!