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God Took Me To School About My Rules

Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach, CA

Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach, CA

Yesterday, we headed to Treasure Island Beach. It’s a beautiful spot in Laguna Beach hidden away behind the Montage Resort. You have to hike a bit to get down to it, but once you’re there, you’re enclosed between two beautiful cliffs.

We put our towels down about 50 feet from the wet sand to make sure we were out of reach of the waves, then Ella and I headed down toward the water to start a sand castle empire bump. Ella has a bit of a fear of the waves and was a little paranoid that they would unexpectedly come in farther than the wet sand. This is where my rules came into the picture.

I assured Ella that this would never happen. I explained from a theological perspective that God had created boundaries for the sea and no matter how much water was out there, He was instructing the waves just how far they could come. We were definitely a good, safe distance away. So we constructed our sand bump.

When Ella headed to the towels for a snack, I turned to watch the ocean and my attention was captured by an unusually large wave. Most had been just a few feet in height, but this one was larger. It suddenly occurred to me that God was about to break my rules.

When that wave hit, the water rushed further up than it had all morning and came within about two feet of our towels. We were safe… until the next wave came in, even bigger than before. I had just enough time to grab Sam’s car seat and lift him up in the air above the water but Angie wasn’t lucky enough to escape. She was drenched, along with our towels, our bag of all the stuff you need at the beach (our cell phones included).

I laughed within myself. God just took me to school. He broke my rules. And I immediately realized, that’s life. God sets the rules. He determines the boundaries. And He decides when natural laws are bent and broken for His own purposes. As soon as we decide what outcome God must bring to pass, we invite Him to show Himself mighty and strong.

I carried about sixty pounds of wet, sandy towels on one shoulder and carried Sam with the other as we all hiked back up to the parking garage. Angie had our bag of wet stuff and the care of an eight year old girl now thoroughly freaked out by the mighty Pacific.

This morning, Angie is headed off to find a new cell phone and I’m being careful about what I say concerning what God will do and won’t.

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  • Kevin M.

    "I’m being careful about what I say concerning what God will do and won’t."

    Yep, God is teaching me that lesson this week too …

    • Brandon

      It's a hard lesson to learn!

      • Brad Harmon

        Don’t worry. If you don’t learn it the first time, God is gracious about repeating it until you do.

  • Scott Coucheour

    "As soon as we decide what outcome God must bring to pass, we invite Him to show Himself mighty and strong." :: Ouch! Guilty as charged.

    This is a tremendous insight!

    • Brandon


  • Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms

    Haha! Open mouth, insert foot :) But, hey, God just taught you something!

    Actually, Tsunami’s are an occasion too when it seems the “rules” don’t apply. Always leave yourself an “out” when it comes to matters only God can control ;)

    • Brandon

      An excellent point!!

  • AlexMurashko

    You can't be a local until that happens to you at least once. Of course, I think I was 10 years old when that last happened to me! Come to think of it, I think my parents thought they were in charge, too! ;)

    • Brandon

      So we've been baptized into SoCal culture?

      • AlexMurashko

        Yes…a baptism of sorts….but, SoCal is so complex…that I think you have a few more to go…I just can't think of them right now!

  • Tom Jamieson

    So true! God breaks my rules all the time! You'd think I would have learned by now! Great post and insight. Thanks for sharing.