tender morning by the ocean

[ the Lord appeared to us in the past, saying “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” Jeremiah 31:3 ]

Sweet story time. The other morning I woke up while it was still dark out, started a pot of coffee and woke my sister Sam up. Once awake we grabbed our bibles, cup of coffee and made our way to the shore to watch the sunrise on the ocean. It was a cool morning and we groggily walked barefoot to the sea wall. We then sat down and played some lovely worship music while admiring the His creation. We met a few strangers with smiles and said good morning in their dialect as they passed by.

We then encountered two sweet humans who I will remember for the rest of my life. It was a father and his precious daughter, who couldn’t have been more than three or four years of age. She wore the cutest little dress and had on a beanie because of the morning breeze. She clung to her fathers side and met us with the biggest smile. Her brown eyes were big and bright. We said hello to them as they passed by. There wasn’t much conversation but immediately Sam and I adored both of them. They then continued just a few feet down the sea wall and for some reason we couldn’t take our eyes off of them.

Both father and daughter giggled, leaped, and played. The father would jog on ahead of her and she’d chase after him. When he got too far you could see her panic for a split second and then yell out, “Papa!” He would turn around, smile, jog back to her and greet her with a kiss. My heart literally exploded as I watched this tender moment.

You could feel the loved her carried for her simply by the way he looked at her. He loved to be in her presence, loved to keep her on her toes, loved it when she ran beside him, loved to embrace her, loved to just love her. He then would sit down on the seawall and clap as she danced joyfully. She’d often meet our eyes and become slightly shy as she saw we watched but then meet her fathers gaze and return to the freedom of dancing. He would look at us and smile as if to say, “Look at my precious child!!!!!” As she bounced around enjoying the time with him he would stop and look at her with the biggest grin ever. He would just admire her beauty with pure love.

As I watched this, the Lord spoke and said “That’s us. You and I. Father and daughter.” Man that hit my heart and I was overwhelmed with the thought of this. Sam and I looked at one another and without even saying a word we instantly knew the Lord purposefully chose these two sweet humans to portray His love for each and every one of us. At one point the Dad ended up leaving her to go grab a cup of coffee at the store across the street. He told her to wait and she sat there with a smile on her face, patiently awaiting his return. When he came back it hadn’t even been five minutes and she ran into his arms. She didn’t realize it at the time, but when he ventured to get his coffee he rarely took his eyes off of her. He embraced her, stroked her cheeks and kissed her forehead as she giggled the sweetest sound.

I realized that this is exactly how the Father feels about me. How He always protects me and is always closer than I think. How he gazes upon my beauty knowing He created and formed me with His very own hands. He is my home. I get to run beside Him, chase after Him joyfully, laugh with Him, call out “Papa!” and rest in the truth that He never leaves me.

My heart is filled with thanksgiving as I understood why the Lord chose to show me this beautiful encounter. Seeing this tender and passionate love reminded me of His heart for me. It made for the sweetest moment and I was filled with warmth knowing He loves me unlike anyone ever has.

I pray you encounter this love too! I pray He reveals His love in a new way in this season of life for you because it’s a never failing, passionate, and steadfast love. Who knew two lovely humans could show me the Fathers love in such a profound revelation. My heart is full.

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